N is for...

Numbers and Nature

Today’s project focuses on drawing and creative problem solving. It is a simple one using numbers to create something quite different.

The beauty of this project lies in the use of the basic ten number shapes, used in the correct way as well as mirrored. For this project you will turn the numbers into leaf shapes to create structural houseplant shapes.

The fact that there are only ten shapes to use makes it quite a concise exercise in which you can explore the possibilities... once you get the hang of drawing the numbers the wrong way round. The project is ideal for exploring creative possibilities as you develop new and interesting fauna.

Creative Process

In the first instance just draw with a pigment fineliner, pencil or dip pen. Divide the page into nine blocks. Randomly draw a grouping of around ten numbers in each shape - half of these are drawn the correct way, and the rest in reverse. Create a new leaf shape from the numbers by combining two numbers, or a sequence of numbers or use them individually.

Create plant forms from the leaf combinations so that you have nine individual plants. Use the 0 shape as you wish in these plants. If you like you can use green colours and paint your plants, experiment with shades of green and scale. You can make it bigger or combine shapes. I quite like to focus on just one shape at a time and explore it in more detail. Use your imagination and see what forms you can develop.


Exploring the possibilities of simple shapes to create exotic or structural plant shapes. Instead of flowers, foliage and green leaves are the focus for this project. Use creativity and imagination to turn the letters into unique plants. Here is a Pinterest link to inspire plant shapes: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/estemacleod/natural-plant-shapes