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Beckler's Botanical Bounty Botanic Art My art work Plants

Interview with ME!

I have to confess to a little quite a lot of grand standing here. Firstly the interview is on the blog for our project, Beckler’s Botanical Bounty. Secondly, I edit that blog. Thirdly, I interviewed myself! (small blush)

Now that I have declared that, I do want to say that you might find it interesting. My “interview” is about the plant, Cullen discolor, that I have been painting. It goes into more detail about the plant itself. As well there are posts of interviews* with other artists.

Interview with ME

* No inverted commas this time, because the posts really are interviews, where I asked questions and the artists chatted about their plants and paintings and reasons for being involved in the Project.

Categories
Beckler's Botanical Bounty Botanic Art My art work Plants

Painting — Cullen discolor

At last! I have finished my painting of Cullen discolor! It has taken me a while. In fact I wrote a post about starting the painting in December 2012. 😦 To be fair to me, I have painted lots of other works in that time.

C. discolor is a prostrate plant. My painting is of a spray arching across the page.

C. discolor, showing how it sprawls along the ground  (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2011)
C. discolor, showing how it sprawls along the ground (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2011)
My work in progress. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
My work in progress. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

You can see from the photo that I painted the leaves first. Once I was in the groove of leaf painting it made sense to continue. I was familiar with the paint to use and the technique for painting.

Then I had to work on the flower spikes. They were quite tricky because although they are fluffy, each pod has a distinct shape. I tried for blurry and clear at the same time! The method I used was to paint in the dark areas between each pod. That helped to build up the shape.

Painting in the stems and the flower spikes unified the painting, and people were able to read it more easily.

The finished spray (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
The finished spray (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

This next photo gives more detail. It is at the growing end of the spray, where the new growth is very soft.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

However, the painting as a whole wasn’t finished at this point. As a botanic artist I try to use my work to explain the plant that I am painting. While I hope I have shown the nature of the plant — the size, shape and texture of the leaves, how the leaf stems and flower spikes join the main stem, the arrangement of the leaves on the stem and so on — I know that C. discolor is an unfamiliar plant. I had to show more with my painting. As well, compositionally I needed to add to the work. The spray was just too spindly there on its own.

I decided to add a pencil drawing showing the profile of it growing in the ground. I had taken reference drawings in Menindee last year which I used to make a final drawing on tracing paper. I then used a light box to transfer the tracing to the good paper, under the painting.

Using the light box to transfer the drawing to the good paper. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
Using the light box to transfer the drawing to the good paper. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
Outline on the good paper. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
Outline on the good paper. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

Then there was the joy of gentle pencil drawing. So nice.

Pencil drawing of C. discolor. (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
Pencil drawing of C. discolor. (Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)

The painting has been put away. I will need to do some final tweaking on it in a few months, like a final edit on a manuscript. But for now I am happy, and ready to begin the next one in the series, Cullen pallidum.

(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)
(Photo and image copyright: Anne Lawson 2014)