potatoHaving the plant right there in front of me should make it easy but, like all flowers, this potato is a restless sitter.

It takes me longer than I think to get so far and I’m far from satisfied with the result but the end result isn’t really the point of the exercise;

‘You can only reproduce something well if you [see and observe]. If you can decode what you see, you will be able to explain it, and anyone who sees your drawing will be able to understand it. The artist’s view is just as important and personal as the subject itself.’

Agathe Haevermans, Drawing and Painting the Seashore

I’m happy just to spend the day observing and hopefully turning that into a successful botanical drawing will follow on from that.

In Impressionism by sampling spots of colour in a detached way, you should be able to build up a convincing image even of an object in the landscape that you can’t identify. Courbet was supposedly able to accurately paint a patch on a distant hillside without ever asking what it was – a limestone outcrop, a patch of dried vegetation or a pile of chippings. The colour and texture were enough.

With botanic drawing you’re really trying to deconstruct then reconstruct the subject in order to clearly explain it.

potato flower partsPerhaps I should have taken the flower apart before I started drawing.


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