Blends of Green

different shades of green coloured pencil

I am more used to drawing hairy and feathery textures but when I decided while out walking to start drawing some of the early flowers that are now appearing on local walks I had assumed that it would be fairly straightforward.

Drawing the initial shape was not the problem and the petals so far have not given me too much difficulty but what I had not anticipated was how tricky the leaves were going to be.

Each leaf has a subtle blend of different greens.

Take a close look at a leaf … it can be on a flower or a tree … it does not matter. You will notice immediately that there is a difference between the top and bottom surfaces of the leaf. The top surface is usually shiny while the lower surface is more of a mat green. Also the veins have a darker shade on one side and are slightly lighter on the other side.

A further complication is that no two leaves are exactly identical and as each leaf hangs off the plant they will also curve in different ways. Blending the different greens to replicate this requires a bit of thought.

Now it would be easy to ignore all of this and settle for a generalized impression of each leaf but that would not look natural and anyway where is the challenge in that!

A sensible approach would have been to take one leaf and play about with it until it was reasonably representative. I on the other hand just jumped straight in there and started with the entire plant.

Collage showing work in progress for Wood Anemone
Collage showing work in progress for Wood Anemone

Getting the leaves right on the Wood Anemone is going to take some time and while I put the practice in I can take time out as thankfully spring and summer have other subjects to be inspired by :-

Swallow in flight
Swallow in flight