Olbrich Gardens, Scarlet Curls Willow

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Spring has finally come to Wisconsin. Everything is green and I decided to take advantage of a day off and some beautiful weather to try out my watercolor pencils and colored pencils. I am really happy with how this sketch came out.

The Willow, Scarlet Curls, Salix matsudana x S. alba 'Scarlet Curls', has an upright rounded habit and is a vigorous ornamental tree with golden brown wavy branches, twisted twigs, and even wavy-edged leaves! 
- From naturehills.com

This willow is my favorite tree at Olbrich Gardens. I thought it would be the perfect way to start this nature journal. I'm really excited about this process and have been reading a lot of books on the subject including Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You Paperback – by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth as well as The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws. Both of which are fantastic books I would highly recommend. I particularly found Laws' advice on how to draw trees helpful, especially when it comes to drawing depth. Definitely have room to improve, especially as I continue to learn to work with colored pencils.

Please excuse the quality of the image - I'm still working out a system for taking high quality photos for the blog. Lighting is hard.

Moleskine Dotted Notebook with Art Alternative Gesso on the pages
Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
Pentel Aquash Brush
Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen