Friday, February 5, 2010

Drawing: Crossing patterns in a Pineapple, Pinecone and a Cactus

I have been making this drawing of a pineapple to demonstrate pattern in plants.

The pineapple, pinecone and some cactus have an alternating spiral pattern going from the top to the bottom. I enjoy trying to make these things work right: both spirals lining up. It is always a wonder to me when it works right. It is so easy to get lost or to get confused where you are in the pattern. But very gratifying when it is completed.

This drawing is a study for a botanical watercolor of this pine cone. Pine cones, although probably less work overall than a pineapple, can make it more difficult to recognize and follow the pattern when they are open, like this one. This cone is from a white pine.

This is a study of the pattern of needles on a small cactus. This study was used to make an oil painting of the cactus. Unfortunately, I have not taken a photo of this piece (that will be remedied soon). One aspect of botanical art that I like is finding the pattern or structure of the plant. It is sort of like Where's Waldo? - only different. Plants are amazing in that they develop in stages and patterns. It is an elemental part of their structure. How well do you know your favorite plant? Do you know anything about its structure? Look again, there's always more to discover.

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