Thursday, March 7, 2019

100 Leaf Drawings

In mid-December of last year I started a personal drawing challenge: to draw/sketch 100 leaves by the end of 2019. My objective was to start a botanical art project that would motivate me to draw by hand more often since I get lured too easily to computer software and digital tools. I could not make a commitment for a drawing a day and I have had many delays so far but I am hopeful that I will catch up during the summer months drawing outdoors. I will be drawing leaves from observation as much as possible from live plants but during the winter months I must rely on photographs. My focus will be on the anatomy of leaves in a flat view rather than depicting leaves in 3D realism. Depending on the size of the leaf, sometimes it will be drawn as a single leaf, sometimes as a small branch of leaves and because I like assemblage compositions so much they will sometimes be drawn as an arrangement of loose leaves. Most of all though, it will be an experience to develop new work by experimenting and trying something new without worrying about the errors but being inspired by the new knowledge.

This idea somehow came to me at a very good time. I wanted to pursue a botanical art project that had structure and inspiration and that would help me learn more about drawing plants on a deeper level. Becoming a friend of the Montreal Botanical Garden last April and visiting this extraordinary place was also a huge inspiration that led to this project. As well as the benefit of drawing by hand and from observation I will be learning about plant taxonomy because I will be researching and naming each leaf by it's botanical or scientific name. Also it will be a meaningful activity that will help me heal emotionally after losing my dear father on January 1st. Nature was his refuge and it is mine as well and I wish to honor him with this project for all the wonderful things he did and loved including gardening and cooking.

Some of these drawings will evolve into art prints made with colored pencil textures and digital brushstrokes for my Etsy shop FILARIO. So far I have sketched 5 leaves: Olive tree leaf (Olea Europea) Eucalyptus tree leaf (Eucalyptus Obliqua) and Tinospora Leaf (Tinospora Crispa) and the two Oxalis leaves or Shamrocks (Oxalis Pes Caprae, Oxalis Trifolium)
You are welcome to follow me on this little creative botanical journey, here or on Instagram. The two images below are of the Tinospora Crispa plant and are available in natural green or grey/B&W as art prints in my Etsy shop Filario. I have created a section on my blog to display the sketches as I make them. So be sure to drop by to find something new every week :)

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