"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Friday, 11 April 2008

Leaf Of the Day: Coral Honeysuckle.. first contact.

I made my weekly visit to Leu Gardens today as a treat before starting on a final piece for the coloured pencil unit of the course.
The gardens change every week with new things coming into bloom or leaf, it's a lovely time to be there. One really delightful discovery was the Chinese Perfume Bush which is a nondescript looking shrub but the perfume of its tiny little white flowers is exquisite.

I have been undecided about which plant to draw for this second assignment, and in the end it comes down to something that will hopefully stay alive for more than a day. I also wanted to do something local to Florida. Pansies might have been easier but what is the point of being here and not engaging with the locals, so I collected this piece of Coral Honeysuckle on the way home. It grows all over a neighbouring fence and so if parts of it die I can go and get some more. I think it grows in the UK as well but is rather cold sensitive ..here it is rampant. I have to say I am not very fond of it but closer study may reveal some hidden beauty. It just lacks the delicacy of the native UK honeysuckles and this one has no scent and the colour is garish.

Anyway today I did a quick "get to know it" sketch and am starting to draw it out. I have given myself all day tomorrow to complete it, so I hope I can keep it alive overnight. ( I have put it in the fridge). If I can get the main drawing done and one leaf and one flower in colour then, if I have to bring on substitutes later, I will at least have a guide to the colours.
There is still one other problem in that I have to hang it from my magnifying stand, as it grows trailing down a chain link fence so the stem has to be a the top. I have put a little piece of wet oasis on the cut end which I spray from time to time ..so I hope that will do the trick.. photographs beckon...

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Coral Honeysuckle Sketch


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