I used mixed media for this close-up (4″ x 4″): semi-transparent washes of acrylic paint, with colored pencil and graphite. I like both drawing and painting, and the surface of an acrylic wash holds the colored pencil nicely.

This anemone is either a sunburst anemone (Anthopleura sola, solitary rather than aggregating which is Anthopleura elegantissima), described as solitary and white with shades of pale pink, green, blue, purple, or a pale and solitary giant green anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica). I thought I would look up the species and discovered I need to see the individual again to be sure!  They live in intertidal ecosystems from Alaska to Baja CA. They seem to glow, and are green because they contain a symbiotic green algae or dinoflagellates living in their tissue. In shady areas, individuals are less green– I suspect that is what I have drawn here, but would need to see it again to see whether the column has rows of warts (verrucae), or if the warts have no pattern (indicating A. xanthogrammica). It’s all here:

http://www.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/inverts/Cnidaria/Class-Anthozoa/Subclass_Zoantharia/Order_Actiniaria/Anthopleura_elegantissima.html

This individual lives in a tank at the Bodega Marine Laboratory (open to the public on Fridays):

http://bml.ucdavis.edu/

Anemones are fascinating and varied, try and find them where you live or in an aquarium!

This mixed media piece is headed to an exhibit (and is for sale) at Copperfield’s Books in Healdsburg, from May 21- June 10, for “Art at the Source” 2012.