Day 25: Gum Nut Watercolour Sketch

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Gum Nut Sketch (Watercolour)

Gum Nut Sketch (Watercolour)


I’m back to Red Gum again today, with the bushes nearby having shed almost all the flowers and now producing seed heads or Gum Nuts as they’re commonly known here. They go through quite a surprising metamorphosis from the original conical flower stems until they are bunches of these hard little bells.

I’ve been quite surprised by this sketch… while I was painting I couldn’t put a brush stroke right, or so it seemed. The stalks were too fat & blobby, the nuts were too wet and the red & green didn’t mix. And it all looked bad and felt clumsy…

Then I went to get dinner. I was also cooking jam that was just ready for potting, and that took a while… About an hour and a half later I went back to scan this little sketch and was gobsmacked. This is NOT what I saw on the paper when I was painting, this looks good!

Somehow during my time away from it every individual, isolated and unsure brush stroke, all of which didn’t add up, had fused together and become a whole. I haven’t had this happen so dramatically ever before, probably because I usually don’t stop at the point where I think it’s all gone wrong. It’s a great result, but the worrying thing is it’s shown me how wrong my thought process is and that to get a result like this I will have to totally rethink what I’m expecting to see as I’m applying the paint. I hope it’s not a fluke!