Just a quick little drawing today as I have been out and about taking photos and doing some on the spot sketching.This one grows along with the dollarweed in the shrubbery. It’s a young small leaf only 4 inches long. I dont know what species it is there are only leaves at the moment.
Oh the poor umbrella plant .. unhappy victim of many a dusty airless UK front room. Here in Florida it thrives and is a sturdy and happy thing. This one lives in close companionship with the little oak, again at the bottom of my steps. Its just a plain green one. The Schefflera Arboricola. Its not so easy to draw. It is my first compound leaf, which really means I have had to draw 10 leaves, not just one. .
The Umbrella Plant
the drawing can be bought for $40 plus postage
What a delightful little weed this is. It has insinuated itself into the plant borders and grassy bits of wasteland here with some success. You can’t help but appreciate its fragile qualities which are undoubtedly offset by its invasive and tenacious roots and its clever way of creeping along.. some roots and stems spring from the same point, then it must shoot out a runner and repeat itself and on and on.. It would be very interesting to see its progress in a time-laspse film
It is tiny.. the biggest leaves are about 1″ in diameter. The biggest leaf here is only 3/4 of an inch. The shape is peltate. I am going to draw a chart of the different shapes very soon.
I have a fondness for some weeds and this is one of them.
Moneywort or Dollarweed
On an early morning mercy-dash to the chemists in the “mawl” across the road to get dental repair stuff I found this pretty leaf. Its tree is decidedly deciduous and has shed quite a few more leaves after the freeze. There are several of these dainty trees decorating the car park of the store and I would imagine they are ornamental oaks, not growing too big to uproot either the carpark, or the store. The leaf shape, without the indents, would be much rounder than my other oaks. Its a beautiful colour as it has its autumn tints still.. red gold green and yellow.. (colour will follow, its a promise)
image size 6 x 7″
Hmmm the croton! I have yet to fall in love with these. I found this lying on the path outside the apartment. The Big Ugly Freeze has done some damage and quite a few plants are looking sad. I am not sure if this just fell off or blew off as we have also had some Big Ugly Winds too, but no plant vandalism was involved in its aquisition. Its main attraction of the croton I think is the colour which of course you cannot see here.. (later will come colour) but this will give you an idea. Daves Garden crotons are splendid in colour and variety.
It poses an interesting problem for b/w drawing because the tonal values of the red and green parts are very similar in tone so making to difficult to render. I didnt do much as you can see .. these are big leaves and on Saturdays I have other things to do but it was interesting to see the markings and actually look at them properly. The patterns throw up endless possibilites for designers.
This is from a little treelet that is growing hidden behind the aircon outlet just by the steps which I fell down at New Year. It’s small, only maybe 4ft high so I am not sure if its leaves are really representative of the full grown tree. They are a very rich green and leathery with very sharp points. I am sure it is an oak. I have tried to identify it but it could be one of many. I am thinking it might be a White Oak. Any help gratefully received.
The White Oak
Due to the continuing Big Ugly Freeze I have not ventured far and the little communal garden outside has plenty of plants. The very first one I come to is the ubiquitous euonymous. This is the yellow and green variety and it needed a tonal drawing to show off its patterns. I am only using a sketch book with normal cartridge paper at the moment. I will need to get onto a finer surface for better work with less of the grain of the paper to deal with.
The leaf of the turkey oak which I found on the pavement here the other day.. well its hard to miss them really. They are all wonderful shapes and have given me some ideas for a series. The tree has lost most of its leaves. It is more deciduous than the live oak.
The name is given to this oak becuase its leaves resemble turkey’s feet!
Compare and contrast.
The Turkey Oak
We are gripped here by some very cold weather. As the temperatures plummeted the weather man got more agitiated.. “its going to be real ugly out there” He was right.The wind was so cold it delayed my leaf hunt. That and the fact that I am still hobbling about from my New Years Eve fall down the steps… pre alcohol sadly. The nurserymen are fleecing and foaming their plants, orange growers bringing in the fruit early and Blizzard Beach is closed. Frostbite is a possibility for those caught outside in the early hours and growing queues at the doctors for “cold related ” illnesses are a sure thing in these “downright fridgid temperatures”. I am hunkered down contemplating redesigning this blog… DB..
My very first leaf of the day and it had to be the leaf of the splendid live oak tree. At the moment we are living in Winter Park a suburb of Orlando and there are live oaks in abundance. Huge and beautiful trees cast a dappled shade on the sidewalks and some star in the elegant gardens in this district . Why “live”? …because they stay green for almost all of the year. They are so different from the English oak. The leaves are tougher and some are almost like holly. It is a really magnificent tree and my first sight of Spanish moss hanging from its branches in the leafy side streets of Winter Park will always remain with me. Some interesting facts about the live oak are here from the Winter Park Live Oak Fund. There are two small live oaks outside our apartment where squirrels chase and chatter and generally squirrel about.
The leaves are very small,the longest only 2.5 inches. One would not have seemed enough! This also shows that some have prickles and some are very smooth.
The Live Oak