|8/19/19 Maple Leaf neighborhood|
The traffic circle a few blocks up from our house is suddenly bursting with color. No, not fall color (though that will come soon enough): long clusters dripping with bright red-orange berries. After a little research, I concluded that the plant is probably pyracantha (or firethorn).
Identifying the plant was the easy challenge. The second was more difficult. Most branches were in shade, while a few were in sunlight; how do I show the difference? I recalled the exercise from Suzanne Brooker’s colored pencil class a couple of years ago in which we were to draw trees using three pencils only: A green for the mid-value; a warm yellow for the sunny side; and a cool blue for the shaded side. I wasn’t sure if this would work with orange berries, but lacking other ideas, I gave it a go.
First, I colored the berry branches with a base of bright orange. Then I applied a very warm yellow over the branches that caught the sun, and I did the same with indigo over the shaded branches (and since blue is the complement of orange, I thought it would be a good choice on two counts). After spritzing the area with water, I dotted all the branches with green for texture and to indicate some of the foliage. I think the ones in sunlight could have used more yellow and less orange to emphasize the light, but otherwise, I like the result.
Now that I’ve quit using a gray marker as my cheating tool of choice, I’m working on learning to show values with color.