Coconut palm

I finally found a coconut tree that is short enough for me to draw. I know that sounds a bit strange, but I’ve always been intrigued by the structure of the tree — the way the fruits hang partially hidden by the fronds, the strange wiggly things that surround them (which are called inflorescence, as I just discovered), and the varied colours and textures at the base of the fronds — all very exotic and so much more beautiful when seen from close up. To paint this one there was still a fair bit of neck craning to do from my chair, but at least I didn’t have to perch on a ladder with my palette on one of the rungs!

13 Comments on “Coconut palm”

  1. Marilyn Hansen says:

    Beautiful as usual Shari! I believe the little Palmettos are also short? You have certainly been travelling a lot, which is great. I love to sketch when I travel, but lately it’s not happening. I guess I made up for it in 2018 when I was in France, Italy, LA, London, and Des Moines Iowa! My travel sketchbook was exhausted LOL, but now I need some catching up. Preferably a warmer place – I’ll live through you for now!


  2. Save your neck, get into a hammock! (Yes, I know you need 2 trees for that)
    I love the abstract quality of this piece.
    I’m really into looking closely and drawing slowly these days (thanks to Lapin course). Unfortunately I do not have a date palm nearby at the moment. 😄


  3. Denise says:

    No ladder rungs necessary-I’ll gladly come and hold your palette for you!


  4. Christi Neutzling says:

    I grew up with palm trees rustling over my head. You captured the heart of the tree beautifully.


  5. Palm tree painting story – The first time I painted one of these it was in a botanical garden in Hawaii. At that time I had not shrunk my painting gear down to the tiny kit I use now, so I had a full sized studio palette sitting on the ground next to me. I was concentrating so hard on figuring out the palm tree that I did not notice the huge peacock that snuck up behind me until I heard a cracking sound and turned to see him with his beak in the well that held my quinocridone gold paint!


  6. C Marie Panlener says:

    Love it!


  7. susie langley says:

    Like the colors and the faded background of fronds .. allowing the fruit to be highlighted ….
    and varied colors in the texture of tree.


  8. Betsy says:

    Fantastic! The colors are so rich and from the variety of luscious greens it appears you are enjoying the tropics!


  9. Susan says:

    I’ve spent more than a few afternoons on a chair under one of these and have always been perplexed by how to make visual sense of the whole thing. Such a complex series of patterns, colors, and shapes. You’ve done it so beautifully!


  10. Interesting painting of a coconut palm, if you ever get stranded on a desert island, you can eat coconuts, with coconut sauce and drink coconut milk for 865 days straight. I’m sure you would love coconuts even more then!!

    I really like how you captured the spiky look of the fronds and how you created your textured background. Also, its refreshing to see cool aqua greens and blues, the only thing I have that is blue to look at right now is the snow in the evening.


  11. Glad you were able to find one water you were able to see the details up top. Nicely done


  12. Beautiful rendering of such a complicated subject. I hope you will do a tropical class soon!


  13. Northern Traveller says:

    Ooooh, this is gorgeous Shari! The composition, the colours, the smudginess in the lower left, the rendition of the tree – beautiful!


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