Saturday, 15 September 2012

Cattails in art stix

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is burst. Autumn's nearly here, and with it comes the bursting of the cattails into seed balls. And as anyone who's ever used cattails decoratively knows, if you bring them in the house without spraying them with lacquer or something like that, in a little while you'll find yourself with a heck of a fluffy mess.

By the way, cattails can be an important survival food if you're ever lost in the woods (or near a marsh, in this case). They're easily recognisable, and pretty much all of the plant is edible. Tubers can be roasted, leaves can be split for the pith (but that's more work than I'd bother with), and the young flowers -- the "hot dogs" when they're still green -- can be cooked and eaten like corn on the cob. They're actually pretty tasty. The pollen can be used to stretch flour, and later in the season the fluff can be a good source of tinder.

And, erm, now you know.

This was done loosely and quickly on purpose. I'm still ruining things with too many details (that's why none of them have been posted) and I've got to get out of that rut somehow. The scanner's taken a bit of the colour again, so if you'd like to imagine a little orange rather than brown in the sky and on the tips of the leaves, that'll help somewhat.

I'm going to try to paint something now. Either that or fold the towels.

What do you want to bet that the towels win?

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