A pencil sketch of a Screw Pine that was just outside of our hotel’s restaurant patio in Mexico, done while sitting at the restaurant.
I took a couple of reference shots of the Screw Pine for later. I have run this shot of the scarred trunks and strap-like leaves through the photo app Waterlogue. The original photo had a lot of distracting people and boats in the background but they have all melded into a pleasant blur in Waterlogue. The other section in the patio opened out onto the amazing aerial or prop roots of the plant. In real life they were very messy and confusing so I just picked the ones I liked and drew them on the opposite page of the sketchbook. I have added a different photo of the aerial roots, this one run through the photo app Snapseed. My first attempts at watercolour had been in the spare bedroom on a low table that killed my back. I moved the process to an old dining room table, and added watercolour to the pencil sketch of the Screw Pine. The previous two attempts had been in sketchbook with cheap paper; this book contained paper designed to take watercolour. What a difference!Screw Pine (Pandanus) with its aerial roots and toothed yellow-striped leaves on two pages of watercolour paper sketch book, opened to 17″ x 5 1/2. Now I am imagining something much larger stretched across two panels and painted in acrylic. The biggest challenge will be the background. Every Screw Pine I have seen has been on a beach somewhere tropical, at the edge of a jungle. The above photo had palms in the background, and I found myself quite fascinated (and distracted) with the patterns they made, cutting out a snippet here and there, as below. Another snippet from a different photo. A blur of green shows up the aerials roots quite well but the distinctive leaves are lost against the green and only show up against a light sky. Then of course, there is the amazing Screw Pine fruit, this one on a beach in Thailand!Hmmm, I think some more work and thought is needed before I start working big again!