Day 30- THE LAST DAY OF the 30 Day Leaf Challenge!

I made it! 30 Leaves in 30 Days!!!!!

 

As you know I have been exploring my new habitat here in Florida. I was on one of my leaf collecting hikes and came across a grove of Oak trees like none I had ever seen. They were tall and skinny and had the biggest leaves I have ever seen on an oak. In New Jersey there is a wide variety of oak trees and the leaves range in size from about 2  to maybe 5 inches. The oak leaves in this grove were 10 to 14 inches long. I have included a photograph with a ruler to show you that I am not pulling your leg!

This type of Oak is called the Turkey Oak. These deciduous leaves are simple and alternately arranged. The shape of each leaf usually has 5 lobes but may vary from 3 to 7. The leaves, with narrow lobes and deep sinuses, resemble a turkey foot. The top of each leaf is a yellow-green and paler below. On the bottom portion of the leaves, rusty-red colored hairs run along the veins. Each leaf possesses a small point at the tip. Turkey oak grows in dry sandy soils associated with longleaf pine, bluejack oak, and sand post oak. Here in Florida we have sand….. not much dirt.

 

I have been working on this leaf off and on for over 2 weeks. I did it life size. The finished piece is 14 x 18. I am teaching a class, "Pan Pastels, and Everything but the Kitchen Sink" this coming weekend so I have been practicing. I started by drawing the leaf and then painting it in an almost flat coat of yellow ochre gouache. I then used the Pan Pastels and began to sculpt the undulations in the leaf. I used colored pencils, granulating watercolors along with the PanPastels to come up with this painting.

This is the end of my 30 Day leaf Challenge.Thanks to all of you  that were here to cheer me on. I will keep posting and I hope you continue to visit my blog!

 

This leaf is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals