Ivy sketchbook scientific illustration and a landscape - October 8th 2012

Story posted: Monday, 8. October 2012 by Lizzie Harper


Autumn is well and truly here; with flat yellow leaves on the pavements, tractors hauling trailer-loads of potatoes through town, and windfall apples rotting in the wet grass.

I had a wonderful time with the ivy, getting the depth of the glossy dark greens was really tough, but it was wonderful when I felt I’d come close.  The structure of both the flowers and berries is exacting and fascinating, it was a treat to have to get out the dissecting microscope to have a proper look.  It’s finished, and my studio is no longer full of the sticky scent of ivy flowers.  It was a lovely job to work on. It’s also extraordinary to see the hoards of insects using ivy flowers as a nectar source; it’s the only copious nectar producer out there right now and it’s a buzzing mosaic of hoverflies, bees, butterflies, flies, and the odd wasp.  A joy to behold, and well worth listening to as well!

Sketchbook studies of an ivy plant

I’ve got feedback on my private commission, so have begun drawing up the final rough.  I love this stage, everything seems possible and the space within the sheet of paper seems to stretch and contract with every new item you add.  Here’s a snippet of the rough as it is now, by the end of the week it'll be completed.

Partially completed landscape rough


Tomorrow is a treat, I’m off on a Fungal Foray with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust http://www.rwtwales.org/index.php/events.html , in practice for the nature walk I’ll be leading on Monday October 15th as part of  h.Energy week, here in Herefordshire.  Come along, I’d love to see you there! http://www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk/fungal-rummage-cart-shed

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