Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Portrait of Angraecum sesquipedale AKA Star of Bethlehem Orchid

This is my first attempt at creating a floral portrait using soft pastels and I hope that it didn’t go too badly considering that the pastel will smudge so much more easily than coloured pencil, but it does move along so much more quickly. The smudging and correcting wouldn’t normally bother me with painting landscapes, but seems to be much more noticeable when it comes to creating the more detailed subjects, as is the case with flowers. Ah the adventures of learning a new medium.

Angraecum sesquipedale helped support Darwin’s theory that if nature would produce a plant with the super long nectary such the case with sesquipedale, then there would need to be a pollinator that could reach inside to retrieve the nectar. You can read more about the history of this orchid at Wikipedia Angraecum sesquipedale. And another link from Jay’s Orchid Encyclopedia for those who might be interested in growing this orchid, it is amazingly easy to cultivate.

The reference photo was taken from my own plant when it bloomed over the Christmas holidays and it is this Mid-winter flowering cycle which gives it the common name of the Star of Bethlehem. 

Star of Bethlehem Orchid, Pastel on Ampersand Board 11x14"
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