After a brief obsession last summer, I figured out the best pencils to use to represent the elusive near-black red of the ornamental plum (Prunus cerasifera, also called Thundercloud). Ubiquitous around here, these trees are, frankly, not especially attractive to me: Their foliage is dark like this most of the year, and even in spring, the tiny, pale pink blossoms can hardly hold their own against all that darkness. And the worst part is that it’s difficult to see the values and form in blackish leaves.
Yet I somehow find myself attracted to these trees, if only for that challenge: How do I show form in such darkness? This time I added a bit of Caran d’Ache Purplish Red (which I carry as part of my CMYK-based primary triad) to the top to try to capture the light, but I’m not sure it was successful. The base color is still Caran d’Ache Dark Plum, with Payne’s Grey for the darkest parts.