Friday, March 5, 2010

Watercolor: Wild Ginger Composition

I am currently creating a composition of a wild ginger plant to use for a watercolor painting. Wild ginger have two leaves that rise up on strong, fairly straight stems and a small flower that protrudes from the base and lays on the ground. They bloom in the spring, late April to early May, in Minnesota. They like shade and can be found in large quantities along the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

I created two drawing, one of each leaf, on tracing paper. Then, overlapping the two pieces of tracing paper, I moved the leaves around to determine what composition I wanted. Since there are just two leaves, I decided to have the leaves next to each other on the horizontal plane. I was going back and forth on whether I wanted the leaves to overlap or not. With an overlapping of these two shapes I could create a sense of depth rather easily. Since the plant is so simple, creating depth without the leaves overlapping would be harder.

I decided to have the leaves not overlap. Why? I just like the look of the leaves separated better. When the leaves overlapped it was abit confusing as to where one leaf began and the other ended.

I will share this painting as it progresses.


  1. What a beautiful flower. I had forgotten that there is a small flower on the wild ginger. Flowers are so smart. Love the drawing and am excited to see how you progress with a painting. I have also been using tissue paper. It is a great tool.

  2. Thanks Lisa,
    wild ginger is one of my favorites. I tend to like spring ephemerals. There is wild ginger growing throughout the St. Paul side of the Mississippi at Crosby and Hidden Falls parks. There is a particular spot that is flush with spring ephemerals of all kinds. It is magical when they appear.