Clues on Clusia painting

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botanical illustration, clusia

botanical illustration, clusia

My last botanical art class ended last week and sadly I had to say goodbye, again, to some very creative and inspiring students/friends…until I see them again next time. One of the main reasons I take botanical art classes in Fairchild is because first, Fairchild Botanical Garden in Coral Gables is one of the most beautiful places on earth…to be, to see and to learn. It’s wild. When I take classes there I honestly don’t expect much as far as learning is concerned but I love to watch others’ painting, it motivates me to continue drawing.
One of the last projects i chose to work on is a little plant from the genus Clusia. I don’t like to work on small plants but this time I gave this little guy a try. I used watercolor and hot press white watercolor paper from France, fairly large because it makes me expand my creativity to fill up the background as well. I started from the end –  first i painted the Clusia in the center of the paper true to the specimen size. The leaves were a challenge because I had to show their true character: the look of stains in some areas. The buds were too small and i needed to be extra patience before i’d change my mind about the whole thing. When i finished the painting looked good but lacked interest. I decided to enlarge some parts by about eight times and created a graphite drawing in the background focusing on the closed bud.
Careful observation and oversize drawing filled with gray tonal values made my little guy in the foreground standout while showing the uniqueness of this plant. It resulted not only in a mix media botanical illustration but a very interesting one too I think, don’t you?
Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

 

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