Tree Study _ Holly – Ink and Watercolour

This started as a response to articles sent by John Stremikis. They gave details of ways in which light and dark tones can be used without the mid tones confusing the issue. There were two articles and these are links to them

http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/04/cure-for-middle-value-mumbling.html

http://emptyeasel.com/2008/08/12/seeing-notan-how-to-make-stronger-compositions-using-lights-and-darks/

Please note the second link describes the Japanese art of “Notan”

These got the imagination going and I attempted a drawing of a complicated bunch of holly leaves (where is a good botanical illustrator, such as RoseIndigo, when needed?) The stages, showing my meagre efforts can be found at these links.

Tree Study - Holly

First stage - a detailed sketch of the foliage

Next put in the dark areas

Adding some definition to the leaves

Tree Study - Holly

Finally – an amusing tale. Years ago, I was teaching a group of 11-12 year olds. We were discussing the different qualities of type of timber. I said to one young lady, Holly Thomson, “You know, there is a tree named after you?”. A few months later, she presented me with a Christmas card which said, “Happy Christmas – from Ilex Aquifolium”