Here is an interesting exercise if you find that your leaf drawings are looking too flat and uniform, a problem I all too often have. Hold a live sample of your plant in your non-drawing hand—in my case Bloody Cranesbill leaves. Start turning the sample and look closely at the variety of angles/views of the leaf. Start drawing and capture as many different views as you can stand to do. This will really help you understand how that plant grows, bends, twists and turns. It’s not easy but it is invaluable. I do this on tracing paper because it takes all the pressure off to produce a “precious” drawing. Keep drawing, keep erasing, work it out!

Thanks to Sarah Simblet for teaching us this technique, and to Susan DiMarchi for making it a homework assignment. Well worth the effort.

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