Weekly Sketch – ‘The Don’ cactus – 16/09/2012

In my Weekly Sketch posts I will share the good and bad scribbles that I undertake…

I have been away on holiday in the Bay Of Naples (more on that later on), and so I haven’t posted any weekly sketches. All around the Bay Of Naples cacti and succulents grow splendid and huge, they are a treat to see. I have only seen comparable specimens in Kew Gardens glasshouses. On coming home I decided that I wanted my own little catus, a reminder of my trip. So here is a drawing of ‘The Don’.

So for this drawing, I thought I’d draw on red textured paper as the cactus pot featured red glaze. I normally always draw on white paper, so this was a bit of an experiment. I started off drawing the form with felt-tip brush pens, immediately though I realised I couldn’t carry out the whole picture in this medium as all the light colours just turned dark on the page. So the felt-tip pens were used to draw the form and for the darker areas. For the greens and yellows I used watercolour pencil which sits on top of the red paper. The red paper is textured and so when the watercolour pencil is used dry it lets spots of red paper show through. The blue background is oil pastel as I wanted a good depth of blue.
I must say I am not overly pleased with the result, the watercolour when used wet became blotchy on the catus, whereas I would have preferred more definition of form.

(© Catherine Cronin)