Leaf of the Day: The Hibiscus.. hour, by hour, by hour…

Well it is Saturday, the day I have to get the Hibiscus finished. For my own interest I am going to see just how long it takes. I am a morning person and if it were a project I was looking forward to I would normally start at about 7.00. Today I eventually begin work at 9.00am after many delays. So here was my starting point from yesterday, a slight sketch drawing on the submission sheet with some tentative colour.

9.00am ready to go.

I have to cover up all the other flower heads or else I am bound to get greasy marks, tea stains, paint splashes etc, all over them. I took my one good flower out of the fridge and decided the only way to tackle this was to take the individual petals off. I will be guided by the shapes from yesterday’s sketch. As my initial drawing was of a different flower some things have changed but I should be able to make sense of it all. I am scanning as I go which again is time consuming but a welcome break.

11.00 am .. now I have a bit more colour and some more shading and have rubbed out the pencil.. well as much of it as I can.

I started again at 11.30 ..ish.
I realised I had to paint the stamens next, very quickly, as they are visibly shrivelling and there are lots of them.. but once you understand one and how they radiate out from the thickened stem it’s not too bad. Also I have to decide how to tackle the petals at the back and I am considering leaving them a bit paler so they appear further back. They are, in reality, a muddle.

2.00 pm. I do have breaks to have a coffee and to look, consider and plan.. I hope one more hour will be enough. From an artistic point of view and my own preference, I would probably leave it here. I like a slightly unfinished look where you can see some of the workings of a piece, but this is a botanical painting, and to be judged as such, so I probably need to push it a bit further for accuracy.

2.00 pm

3.00 The hibiscus and I are at an almost finished state but I need a break from it, as all I can see are the awful bits at the moment. It’s important to go away at this point ..very.
However a trip to Kmart to wait in an interminable queue for a pint of milk does not help. Sometimes I despair about the human race.

When I got back I decided there needed to be another small flower head on the sheet and painted that, a small purple something which I have yet to identify. Then looked over the hibiscus again tightened up a few things…I am not sure that was wise..and called it a day ..for today.. it may be finished…..it is 5.00.. phew.


Japanese Lantern Hibiscus

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  1. The detail in your sketches are awesome.
    Greetings and birthday wishes from India. Have a wonderful birthday!!!

  2. Kanak.. thankyou so much. birthday spent agonising over the work and trying to forget my age !

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