Regular readers to this blog will have noticed that we have not posted for a while. Gabriel Hemery has been immersed in writing, while artist Sarah Simblet has been working flat-out trying to keep pace in drawing the dozens of species coming into leaf and flower during April and May.

Now that many of these drawings have been completed, or at least drafted in pencil, Sarah’s attention is moving on to the Gymnosperms (conifers). We want to feature the broadleaves without leaves so that their form can be seen and illustrated in the drawings for The New Sylva, and so work on the angiosperms will have to wait mostly until the Autumn.

One of the latest drawings now being worked on by Sarah Simblet features the branches and cones of western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla.

Drawing in progress by Sarah Simblet of western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla

Sarah uses a pencil underdrawing to develop the subtle form and balance of the plant, adjust the angles of its stems and leaves, and understand the intricacy of how everything connects. She adds ink slowly, beginning with the outlines, then she adds gradually the darker tones.

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