Last Saturday was our first sketch outing at the Fakahatchee StrandPreserve State Park for the year, as well as the WorldWide SketchCrawldate. We had a wonderful turn-out for our group, and beautiful weather. With so many interesting subjects, it was difficult to choose just one or two!
As usual, I found myself looking at the small things. Along the edge of a wooded area, a flash of lavender and yellow about eye-level lured me over. Growing in a tangle and wandering up the trunk and branches of a bald cypress was the largest climbing aster (Aster carolinianus) I’ve ever seen before. It was in all stages of bloom, from flower-buds to seed-heads. I quickly sketched it in ink (dodging the numerous honeybees) and moved to a nearby picnic table to add color with my watercolor travel palette and waterbrush.
After completing that page in my sketchbook, I checked the color choices with the vine in question and noticed a small broken branch hanging precariously among the other branches. What caught my eye this time was the unusual airplant growing from the lichen-encrusted bark. Luckily I had brought a reference book or two, and with the help of a friend decided it was the potbelly airplant, Tillandsia paucifolia. I don’t see these very often and was excited to sketch it!
I was able to complete an ink drawing, but with no color, as our time was drawing to an end. After taking a reference shot with my camera, I carefully hooked the broken branch back onto a sturdier branch so it wouldn't fall to the ground. I wasn’t able to draw the many tiny seedling “pups” that were growing on a seedhead, or the different lichens,but perhaps that’s for another time. I was told that one of the lichens was named “old man’s beard” – I’ll leave you to guess which lichen it is from the photo below!
- Nature Sketch sketchbook by Pentalic, 7x5 inches
- Pitt Artist Pen by Faber Castell, size XS for the drawing, size S for the writing
- Daniel Smith watercolors
- Niji Aquabrush, size S