Saturday, July 13, 2013

Botanical Sketch #7 Sea Grapes - Drawing in Stages

This Botanical Sketch from my series of drawings is of Seagrapes, a beautiful plant that grows near the coast in Florida.  The leaves can be huge (some the size of dinner plates). They are circular and grow in clumps.  When mature, a pod of "grapes" dangles down from the leaves.  They are quite interesting and striking when you see hedges of them together.
 I took step by step photos to show my process of going from a page to "finished product".  I started out with a 8 1/2" x 11"paper that I sprayed ink onto over a stencil.  When it dried, the blue image was left. I didn't want a busy background, because I wanted the seagrapes to be the focal point. With pencil, I sketched the outline of image and then started filling in the shading and experimenting with colors using pencils.  It was at this point that I thought, "Hey, I should take pictures of this process." That's the reason I seemed to start mid drawing.. sorry.
 I began to fill in the color on the leaves, shading darker by the veins and varying the colors of the "grapes".  I didn't want them to be uniform, but to look like a cluster of individual fruit.
 After I was happy with the colors, I added lots of lighter greens for highlights, threw in some yellow and whites.  Then, I wanted to depict the imperfect edges, so that it looked organic.  I added reds and browns to do this.
 I continued filling in all the leaves and the stem. I didn't want the stem to overpower the leaves, but still wanted it to be recognized.  I liked the way it was coming out, but it needed something else. Maybe I made a mistake with the background and made it too simple?  I decided to add another focal point, but kept it behind the seagrapes.
There, I like the gradient stripes, I think it balances out the image without distracting.

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