The Ixora plant


        This plant grows at our house here, and I took advantage of an untimely morning nap of my son to paint this, in a loose style, as a study of the effect of light. The plant itself is fuller and thicker that how I had painted it but I had to fit it into a two hour time slot. The upper part of it catches the eastern rays of the sun in a delightful way for an hour or two every morn and I had been meaning to paint it for quite some time now. Unfortunately, because of an advancing cyclone, it was quite an overcast day yesterday and there was no strong light or shadows. It still makes an interesting subject because there’s quite a pleasing value difference between the new yellowish green and the older bluish green leaves.



      I started with a 300 gsm 12*16 inches paper in a block and sprayed it with clean water with a mister. Then I went over it with a wet brush with more water to keep it evenly wet. (I found the sprayer is a good way to work quickly when working wet in wet) With a large flat brush, I brushed in premixed puddles of translucent orange, raw sienna, pthalo blue, krapprot tief, sap green, green gold and indian yellow and let the colors blend by moving it this way and that. I kept the consistency of the orange a little thicker than the others so that it wont spread too much. I didn’t do much of drawing except for the main stem and some branches.

initial wash


        Before the wash started to dry, I started painting a few leaves with a round brush, these start to diffuse and look like leaves at a little distance. at the back of the tree.  

some leaves


The paper has already begun to dry completely. I paint the lower leaves with a thick mix of sap green, pthalo blue and a little bit of krapprot tief (red tending towards blue, not sure of the name in English) letting the colors blend on the paper. Schminke’s Raw sienna works well for leaves that are just beginning to age and starting to turn brownish yellow. For the flowers, with a small round,  I dot with a mix of indian yellow and translucent orange and then towards the left side add the orange pure and again towards the end drop in a little bit of the red. The light is coming from the upper right. The blossom behind is a bit redder because of shadows falling on it. Added the branches; first with a wash of burnt sienna and then, a thicker mix of a drak color on the left hand side of the branch.   

lower leaves


more leaves and flowers

     More leaves in the same way with a few dried leaves with burnt sienna. Some foliage at the bottom of the tree.



              Hit the handle of a brush loaded with orange for a spray of bright dots to add some texture to the plain area. Didn’t like the bluish gray spot at the top left hand side of the paper and tried to scrub it out with a stiff damp brush.



       I actually found a cute little nest hidden right at the centre of the tree! I think it has been abandoned, since I do not see any bird coming to it. Though it must have been a small bird that had built it, it had used quite thick branches as nest materials, there is even a leaf woven into it. I have taken a snap of it for you:


       Here are the Ixora flowers. They age and fall away all at one time and the tree puts on buds and in no time, the whole tree is covered with fresh beautiful blooms. Sometimes, they grow as large as your two hands cupped together and become quite red in the right conditions. A sight to see! But this is at the time when they are starting to fall.


   This particular variety is called Ixora Javanica and named ‘Aspiration in the Physical for the Supramental Light’. The pink variety of Ixora Chinensis is called Psychic Aspiration. The red one, Ixora coccinea, Aspiration in the Physical. It’s interesting that a very similar looking flower called Egyptian Star cluster (which I had also painted) is named ‘Psychic Light in the physical movements’, ‘Light in the Vital movements’, ‘Light in the material movements’ according to its color. The flowers are softer and less pointed with five petals as opposed to four in Ixora and the leaves are also softer drooping a little. When there is the ‘Aspiration’ from below, it brings down the Grace from above enveloping us in the ‘Light’. Is that what the two flowers symbolize?