2: What makes a good leaf?

posted in: Art, Learning the Craft | 0

Progress check: Been drawing these darned leaves for approx 30 hours – thankfully not in one sitting – and Poppy still wants me to continue! Gahhh!

So what makes a good leaf? It must be slender, follow a continuous sloping arc, and conjure the impression that it’s blowing in the wind on the plains of Central Asia… This many-leafed design is what I call the ‘monster leaf’ (non official term *ahem*)!

We start by drawing the ‘canvas’ of the leaf (ie the outline) and then fill in the details as we go. In fact, in the excellent ‘Motifler’ book I have already referenced last post, Çiçek Derman and İnci Birol comment that: “A skilled artist can immediately notice any flaw in the canvas of a completed motif. Therefore the importance of the canvas in the correct placement and in the harmony of the motifs should not be underestimated.” This certainly seems true as when I place my page of carefully drawn designs before Poppy, she can immediately see where it hasn’t quite worked. It seems that getting the eye of the piece and instinct for shape is not only as essential as an intricacy of detail, but is something that can only come as time wins us an effortless familiarity with the form.

And so on with the leaves…

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