Leaf of the Day:Acanthus Montanus.. Some Prickles.

The very prickly thing I have drawn today is a piece of the Acanthus montanus or Mountain Thistle. It’s in bloom now at the Gardens and I took this photo a week ago. I have to say that even though this may be handsome, it is an extremely unfriendly plant. Every bit of it is covered with sharp spines.

This is not the acanthus leaf of the classical Corinthian capitals which were more likely to have been inspired by the Acanthus mollis, also charmingly named Bears Breeches, which I will come back to. I would like to draw a real, Corinthian column type, acanthus leaf.

A quick sketch of the leaf itself and a detail of the leathery spiny surface, and then a small watercolor for some texture practice. The veins are deep, the sections well defined and the surface shiny and it has prickles ..a bit of a nightmare to paint really and these small pieces take a ridiculous amount of time for what you get ..hence very short post.. but it is good practice.


Mountain Thistle Leaf