Today is day #3 in my botanical leaf challenge. I decided to paint a leaf from my datura plant. It is one of the plants I purchased when I got here.  I couldn't resist it because it has  a purple double flower. It was so beautiful and I found out that I could grow it in my new gardening zone; 8b. I have done a fairly complicated composition for a serious painting. I spent many hours drawing it from every stage and then put together a composition that includes the life stages of the flower, from bud to seed head. It will take a fair amount of time painting it and I want to make sue that I am on the right track before I plunge in and ruin it.  One of the best way to get ready for it, is to do a practice leaf. The leaves are very large so this on was much bigger than the ones I am used to painting. I used a variety of greens from the tube. One of them was Sap green by Daniel Smith. A lot of botanical artists I know rave about sap green so I thought I would give it a whirl. Here is my result.

Once I have finished a sample for a painting I like to evaluate it and see if there are any modifications I want to make before I go to the final painting. I painted the left side of the leaf first all at once, very wet into wet. Then I did the right side, darkening the paint mixture by adding a little Paynes Grey. I was taught that the light on the form is coming from upper left at 45 degrees from the picture plane making the left side of the leaf lighter than the right. I like the way sap green moved across the water and created a spontaneous effect. I did not drop any paint in the highlighted areas so that the leaf would have an undulating effect. I am a bit concerned that the sap green is "too green" so I will try again in another painting to modify the sap green to tone it down a bit.

This painting is available for purchase in my Etsy Store. It is 8" x 10" and is on Fabriano 300lb watercolor paper.