Single Dragonfruit

There were still a few dragonfruits (DF)  left when I went back to the fruit store. I chose the smallest, good looking one, as they are super expensive (and sold by the pound). When I searched for ‘dragonfruit’, Wikipedia yielded the page for Pitaya.  ” ‘Pitaya’ usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while ‘Pitahaya’ or ‘Dragonfruit’ always refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus.” (1)  The particular DF I bought was a product of Vietnam, although they are also grown in other Southeast Asian countries. DF has other names in different countries, including ‘dragon scales’, ‘dragon crystal’, ‘green dragon’, ‘fire dragon fruit’ and ‘dragon pearl fruit’.  I was surprised to learn that DF is the fruit of a genus of cactus. To tell you the truth, looking at the triangularly-shaped leaves from the bottom of the fruit, it reminds me of an artichoke. However, nature does not reserve its symmetry to one species exclusively.

From an observer’s point of view (artistic or scientific), one can see the slight spiral symmetry of the leaves as the progress from the base of the fruit. One can see a more exaggerated example of this in the arrangement of sunflower seeds in a sunflower flower. There is a mathematical progression called the Fibonacci series that describes much of the spiral symmetry found in nature.

Today’s experiment

The watercolor sketch today is a singe DF. I elected to portray a side view, which does not illustrate the spiral symmetry.

Watercolor Sketch - Single Dragonfruit

Single Dragonfruit
9″x12″ 140# Cold Pressed Watercolor Block

I was a little more successful today in terms of glazing. The leaves were large enough to glaze without encroaching on adjacent areas. This was more difficult on the smaller scale of yesterday’s study. The reds I used were winsor red (semi transparent), permanent rose (from MaimeriBlu), permanent alizarin crimson and rose madder genuine. All but the first pigment are transparent and are on the blueish side of the spectrum. In the darker red areas, I dabbed the red-tipped brush into black.

2 thoughts on “Single Dragonfruit

  1. Worth the search 🙂 It’s good to be reminded of Fibonacci in this context. Isn’t the name ‘rose madder’ just so wonderful…

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