Sunday, August 8, 2010


Firebush, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

The heat, humidity, and mosquitoes are keeping me inside, so I brought in a small branch of Firebush to paint. It's just as well, as it's been quite overcast today.

This plant is one of my all-time favorites! It looks great in the middle of summer, and attracts all sort of butterflies, as well as our ruby-throated hummingbird. It does get a bit bedraggled in the winter, but the birds seem to relish the berries after a couple of cold spells.

I'm trying out my early birthday present - a new Pentalic Nature Sketch sketchbook in the 6 x 12 inch size. The format is unusual, but I read a good review about it, so I'm giving it a try.

The paper scans a bit yellow (as does the Arches hot-press watercolor paper), but it seems to take watercolor fairly well. I wouldn't recomend it for finished paintings; it won't withstand repeated washes and/or color lifting. Otherwise the paint goes down nicely, and the Micron pens work well on the surface. 

I'll try out regular pencil and watercolor pencil soon.  All in all, I think it will be a great nature journal!

You can click on the images above to view them larger on my Flickr photostream.