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


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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Leaf of the Day: Felt Plant Leaf

This is the last leaf for the submission (hurrah!) , a small top leaf of one of the strange "felt"plants a variety of Kalanchoe. The largest variety Kalanchoe beherensis can grow to 6 meters. I took a photo of a small one in Sarasota in the Marie Selby Garden a couple of months ago and there is another one at Leu.

The leaf I have painted is from a smaller variety which, as well as the furry leaves, has strange soft bumps on the back of the new leaves. I wanted to try painting something furry.. (pubescent) and this one certainly is. I have not used white body colour in the other leaves, trying to keep to the rule of the purist watercolourist of using white paper for highlights, but to achieve the furryness I used white gouache, mixed with some of the leaf colour and drybrushed the texture over the painted surface.
It was very time consuming, one leaf was fine but I am not sure about a whole plant. However the leaves of the larger kalanchoes are very beautiful and I hope to be able to paint one when I get on to larger subjects.

I am glad to have completed these leaves. There are many areas that are less than satisfactory, it is a steep learning curve to go from loose to very detailed watercolour, and I have to probably do less drawing now and more painting to really improve.
One of the most daunting thing for me is that sheet of pristine white paper. I am very impressed with myself for having managed to keep this sheet fairly splash free.. very good for a messy watercolourist who quite likes blots and runs!

Felt Plant

1 comment:

lostlandscape said...

Great artwork and great subject matter! I've loved the handful of kalanchoe species I've grown--They're so sculptural, and the fuzzy leaves are so tactile.