Maple Whirligigs

I got obsessed with a cluster of maple seeds and drew them in colored pencil over the past few days.  I’ve since learned that a group of such seeds is called a “panicle.”  My panicle was not of the double winged helicopters, but single ones attached by a delicate stem to the limb.  The whole thing fell out of the tree and I found it on a walk and brought it home.  I determined to do it in all colored pencil for the detail, but then got dismayed trying to do a dark background.  After 3 layers it still looked anemic, so I inked the background with a Pigma Micron Brush marker.  You can still see some of the colored pencil lines and tints of red through the ink, and there are a few little blotchy places where the ink pooled, but over all I’m pleased with my panicle. Never knew there were so many colors in a maple seed pod till I looked very closely — purples and reds and yellows and ochers, oh my….

Maple Whirligigs, colored pencil and ink pen

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4 thoughts on “Maple Whirligigs

  1. Love the bits of lichen/moss on the branches. You could have picked up this little treasure in many places, but that detail is so very Northwest – all it's missing is a slug. 🙂 I always think of you when I think of moss – great botanical study Joy!

  2. I like this – they remind me of the little 'helicopters' that we used to get falling from trees when we were little – I can't even remember what kind of tree but I know I haven't seen any of the helicopters in years.

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