After spending time playing with colour charts and learning more about how the colours interact I spent a lot of time sourcing leaves for the third assignment for the Society of Botanical Artists Diploma Course. I am finding the planning stage the most difficult part of these assignments as there is so much observation and contemplation required before even getting started.
The third assignment called for a page of eight leaves - at least six primarily green, two coloured and one of the leaves was to be a monocotyledon.
I decided to choose the monocot first and although there were many typical examples available I chose the Spathiphyllum due to its graceful curve and wonderful opportunity to show tonal contrast in the veins.
I found it difficult to go straight into painting the leaf so I made a line drawing with tonal contrasts as a guide to assist me. Once I was happy with the position and colours I then moved on to composing the rest of the leaves. This consisted of trials with each leaf to ensure I was happy to continue on to the final piece.
Once I had more than a few leaves on the final page it was quite nerve wracking.
As I started each new one - I realised that there was no chance to begin all over again if I wasn't happy with the final result. It had taken too long to get to this point and I needed to commit. I saw that the composition was a little lop-sided so I added a few leaves to balance.
My final page consisted of - from top left clockwise - Senecio rowleyanus - String of Pearls, Spathiphyllum - Peace Lily, Alyogyne 'Delightfully Double', Liquidambar styraciflua 'Oakville Highlight', Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem', Hoya carnosa 'Variegata', Eucalyptus wandoo 'Wandoo', Codiaeum variegatum - Croton, Hibiscus tiliaceus 'Rubra'.
|© Vicki Lee Johnston|
My photographs are not ideal - I was going to take a better quality pic once the assignment returned - however my tutor advised me that my page of leaves had arrived quite battered and that the flyweight was broken and the artwork creased down the page. It has a long way to travel from Western Australia to the UK so I guess this is one of the downfalls of distance learning. I really enjoyed the page of leaves but I am very keen to start using a rainbow of colours again!