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house sparrows

Iris Seedpods

Saturday, 19th July 2003, West Yorkshire

iris podssmall tortoiseshellI never got around to drawing the Yellow Flag Irises in our pond when they were in flower but, typical of me, I find the form of the seedpods more appealing to draw than the flamboyant flowers. The withering leaves on the right are more fun to draw than the fresh green ones on the left which are an exacting subject with all those parallel veins (typical of the iris family, and for that matter of any of the Monocotyledons, the botanical group that includes orchids, daffodils and plantains. The banana is a plantain and, when you think of a bunch of bananas growing on a banana plant, you can see there's a connection with the iris pods).

The withering leaves are flamelike in shape, with their twisting points while their ochre yellow colouring, turning to rust at the tips, also suggests, prematurely (we are still in July), the flamelike tints of autumn.

I did think of adding a bit of colour with crayons but I feel that this is best left as a linear study.

young sparrowI've used this Rotring Art Pen a lot recently. It's years old but it's the only drawing implement that I feel I can easily get to do what I want it to do. My newer pens of the same type don't run as sweetly. This old pen is my equivalent of a violinist's favourite battered old Stradivarius. next page

Richard Bell