Leaf of the day: False Aralia and Fake Lizard, Big Leaf Sketches

I have spent today playing with one of the big leaf sketches.
I do now know that the leaf is from Dizygotheca elegantissima or Aralia elegantissima, commonly known as False Aralia. One description fits it well.
The False Aralia leaf is divided into 10 or so slender jagged leaflets that are arranged like fingers of a hand. As the leaves mature, their colors turn into blackish green or dark grey-green, they become broader in size, and they become coarser in texture. “

Here are the first 3 stages

I sketched the lizard in but have now changed its colour so many times that it does not resemble a real lizard at all but that’s fine by me. This is not a lizard portrait.
I have not found anywhere in the house that I can take a good photograph of larger work. The light is terrible, so the colours are very dull here and the light is reflecting off the surface, but it shows a bit of progress. I am going to try for a better photograph tomorrow.

Acrylic on Canvas, 2ft x 3ft.

I have roughed in the drawings on the paper behind the leaf now, I may call it ” The Critic”
It may never reach “finished painting” stage but I plan to have 4 of these larger sketches/studies for the show. There will be a companion piece to this one as well as two (I hope) of the Live Oak branches developed from some earlier sketches…but time is getting a bit short.

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  1. Interesting to see the progression. Lovely work.

    (Editorial comment: It drives me crazy, calling plants “False This” and animals “Lesser That.” Shows a real lack of imagination by the Namers! ;~)

  2. Thanks very much JMS.. you made me laugh! … It’s almost is as if the plants themselves are being deliberately misleading or somehow not quite up to scratch 🙂

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