I keep coming back to holly. I think I’ve found it my biggest challenge since starting botanical illustration. I think its the combination of the flat surface and the shine. I still remember an attempt I made a couple of years ago, that’s how much of a disaster I viewed it as (I would post a photo for the comedy value, but I can’t find the painting…….!)
I did quite a lot of browsing other botanical artists’ paintings of holly, and there is a lot of inspiration out there.
This is ‘Holly and Ivy’ by Gaynor Dickeson.
She is a wonderful artist and has been a huge inspiration to me.
I knew that for my next holly attempt, I would need to practice, practice, practice. I drew multiple outlines of a holly leaf and set to work.
Here you can see my first 3 attempts, with some notes at the sides as to the colours I used, and the layers of washes. None of these felt right to me. By the 4th attempt I felt like I was getting somewhere.
4th Study – Finally a success?