Impressed Line- Impressive!



Crotons- (Codiaeum variegatum), Family: Euphorbiaceae have colorful, glossy foliage and a wide variation of leaf types.  It is one of the most popular plants in Florida. It is a native of the tropics from Java to Australia and the South Sea Islands, and because of the Crotons' susceptibility to cold injury, is restricted to the southern and warmer parts of central Florida. Cold injury normally shows as leaf dropping soon after periods of cold weather. Well yesterday it was 85 degrees and last night it went down to 48 degrees and tonight it may go into the 30's!!!!! This is not good for the crotons! Fortunately during the day it reached 75 so things thawed out quickly!

Every single one of these leaves is different. There are no two alike. The only thing that makes them the same is the shape of the leaf. This variety of croton is a broad-leaf croton. The colors are very bold and brilliant. It is hard to believe that that they are real. They look and feel like plastic. I was in a hurry today and I did this all in one fell swoop. I wet the paper and started with my wet on wet watercolor technique. One of the things I did while all the pigment was floating around was to use the back of my paint brush to impress the veins. I used a brush that had a wooden handle that had a small smooth tip on the end. You can use any kind of blunt point, a tapestry needle works well also. I had my pencil lines visible for the veins and used them as a guide. When the paper is wet (300 lb is the best for this technique) I pushed hard into the paper and the pigment ran into the gully I produced. This makes the lines darker than the rest of the painting because there is saturated pigment. I have done this before when doing fine lines on irises. One of the draw backs in using this technique is that you have to get it right the first time. If you impress a line and it is not where you want it to be it is almost impossible to get rid of the indentation. I recommend that you practice this first on a piece of scrap watercolor paper first.

Happy Painting!


The croton leaf is available in my Etsy Shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals