Sharon Field
Eucalyptus-sp. (Eucalyptus Leaves)

Eucalyptus-sp. (Eucalyptus Leaves)

Watercolour on vellum 2011

I found these two leaves in my driveway after strong winds had passed through the area. I was struck by their beautiful colour and shapes. The translucence of their colour is enhanced by the vellum on which the leaves have been painted.

Made from calfskin, vellum is highly idiosyncratic in nature and not as easy to use as paper. It presents quite a slippery surface for the paint – a great challenge for the artist. Because vellum is made from calf skin, it moves with changes in humidity in the air. In dry air it will stretch tight and smooth, while in humid air it will absorb moisture and may appear to buckle. Such movement is a feature of this material, and should not be a cause for concern.

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