Draw the Mid-Rib First

One of the most important lessons to learn as a botanical artist is that you MUST always draw the midrib of the leaf first!!!! I learned this in the my Drawing 2 class when I was a student at NYBG and have been teaching it to my students ever since. When you draw it first (and correctly) the leaf will flow and always look right. When you draw a leaf twisting and turning in space it is important that the mid-rib visually connect even when it disappears behind the lobe of the leaf. If there is a disconnected mid-rib it will ruin your painting. Here is a work sheet that I have my students do….. draw 6-10 leaves curling and turning in space.

Today's leaf is also a croton leaf, only this time it is a corkscrew croton. It has the same bold, crazy colors. I thought this would be a fun leaf to paint with a challenge of the twist. I used Veritin Prismacolor pencils to get the sharp details and crisp edges. The veins on this leaf were not visible so I did not impress them like I did Leaf #20. This leaf looked like paint was simply splattered on the surface so when it came time to paint it, that is exactly what I did…….. a la Jackson Pollock!


This leaf is available in my Etsy Shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals

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