Sketching Flowers – 23. Parnassia palustris

Parnassia palustris, called the Grass of Parnassus by Dioscorides is actually not a grass, but a dicot, member of Celastraceae family, the one in which the recently drawn spindle (Euonymus) is also included.

The 10-20 cm stem spring from a cluster of smooth heart-shaped leaves and beautifies bogs and alpine areas with its delicate white flowers in late summer/early autumn. 

The petals are beautifully veined and leathery and the nectaries of this flower are elaborate, even ornate; they are in fact modified stamens. Each one of the five consists in a nectary surrounded by radiating arms (up to 14). Each arm is surmounted by a yellow knob like a pin’s head.

The true stamens are five in number, but they do not liberate pollen at the same time, they ripen one by one (similar to Geranium phaeum)

The ovary is large and on its summit, without the presence of a style, there are 4 rayed stigmas.

In today’s tutorial I’m drawing with ink and gouache the flower of Parnassia, highlighting its beautiful geometric structure:

The project so far:

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