Staplegun commented on an earlier illustration that perhaps a cabbage tree would be good inspiration for a girl. I wasn’t sure at the time and have been mulling over a way to make a cabbage tree girl without giving her a leafy afro.
The other day I noticed the cabbage tree across the road. It had its young new leaves, all prickly at the top of its head, but it also wore its older leaves in a mane around its trunk. They became the hair in this illustration, and the young leaves are worn around her wrists, similar to the way the other branches curve away from the main trunk at odd angles.
Cabbage trees are native to New Zealand. They have large tufts of spiky leaves and only begin to branch once they flower. Their branches are long and the leaves group at the ends. It’s common to see a cabbage tree with just one trunk and no branches. The one that was in my backyard when I grew up was like that.
So, thanks for the suggestion, Staplegun! She was fun to do.
Let me know if you have a suggestion, I’m keen to hear it. I haven’t tried any birds yet, so if you can think of an interesting one I’d like to know!