Greenhouse, 5.45 p.m., 20°C
Shepherd's Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris,
a common weed, is normally smaller than this plant, growing to 32
cm, over a foot tall, in the shelter of the greenhouse.
When I draw a subject like this I realise that I would enjoy immersing
myself in botany. I like botanical details; they're subtle, often
elegant, even in a weed like this, but they're there in front of
you, there's nothing hidden or obscure about them (well, not until
you get your hand lens out, then I guess there would be a lot more
to it). I like:
the way the bases of the upper leaves clasp the stem
the heart-shaped seed-pods
the way the leaves of the basal rosette are different to the
upper leaves; they have indented edges.
I could spend the spring and summer drawing wild flowers. I rushed
this drawing a bit, I gave myself just half an hour, and, drawing
from flowerhead to base, I struggled to make some of the ends of
the leaves meet up with the previous leaves I'd drawn. If you look
closely midway on the right, you'll see that I've had to extend
the end of the large top leaf to bring it near enough (in line-of-sight
terms) to a leaf that I subsequently drew in the basal rosette.
I like to leave such mistakes as a part of the drawing, not blot
them out with typewriter correcting fluid.
Richard Bell, email@example.com