In my last post I mentioned that I had to cancel a local sketching adventure because my knees weren’t cooperating and I suggested that I might sketch a pepper plant that I’d bought. That’s exactly what I did.
The weather was wonderful and I sat on our deck, got some sun, and communed with my pepper plant. I find drawing plants to be a challenge as it’s easy to get lost in the overlapping contours of the leaves. As I draw them they become abstracts; I’m no longer drawing a plant, but rather a whole bunch of curves relative to one another. There’s considerable cross-checking between the curve I’m drawing and those I’ve already drawn, locating my position by comparing angles and distances constantly.
When I finish with the ink contour a decision must be made. Do I add a bunch of cross-hatching or do I add watercolor. Sometimes I consider the third option of leaving it just as it is – a contour drawing. At this point I almost always choose one of the two ‘shading’ options but when I’m done I often wish I’d left the sketch as the contour. This may be because I love pen lines so much. Maybe it’s because I’m too impatient to do a good job with watercolor. Here are both stages of my pepper plant sketch. What do you think? Which do you prefer?