Fruitful Bowl

Finally, sat down and did some sketching.  I went out with my friend, Sharon, to a local bookstore for coffee, chit chat, and a bit of sketching.  So glad I did!  Good to get out and see a lovely friend, put a pen to paper, and just enjoy the time.  Lately I have been caught up with potential evacuations from local fires and too much TV bingeing (A French Village on Amazon Prime) and photography.  As a result, artwork has been put on hold.  Now, I hope I have the whatever back, and will continue!

WWM #3: Picnic Food

The third prompt for #WorldWatercolorMonth!  Here, picnic food.  Bread, wine, cheese, fruit.  Sounds a lot more healthy than burgers and fries, and certainly more attractive to paint!  But, oh, what a challenge gouache is compared with watercolor.  I haven’t worked in opaque medium in years and years and years.  Personally, I don’t like the picnic basket, but the cheese, bread, wine, and (sorta) the fruit look okay.

I started with broad swaths of the major colors, such as the green, browns, blues, and laid in the underlying colors for the bread, cheese and apples.  From there I moved into less thin paint to thicker, working from the most distant (the grass) to the foreground.  At the end, I laid a thin wash of ultramarine blue to dissolve a bit of the underlying gouache to create shadows, knowing full well it would lift and blur the paint underneath it.

While I cannot say I love the painting – still lives are not things I pursue, preferring landscapes – I can say that it was definitely a worthwhile study.  Paint handling is getting a bit more intuitive and logical.  So different than watercolor – but at the same time comprehensible, if that makes any sense.  It’s really just understanding the logistics of the medium . . . And, I think I am improving (a bit) in using gouache, which is a good feeling.  I’m looking forward to the challenge of alternating transparent with opaque medium during #WorldWatercolorMonth.

Loquats for the Picking

A couple of weeks ago I took a photo of loquats, not really ready to be eaten, but certainly not too much sooner!

The loquat is a fruit tree indigenous to southeastern China. It is frequently grown in California gardens for its fruit and decorative qualities. The fruit is a pale yellow to a golden color, and the leaves are stiff and dark green. The contrast of the roundish fruit with the wide, pointy leaves makes for an interesting painting subject.

The photo from which the drawing evolved:

Painting the loquat has a bit of cross-cultural history behind it, too; ink painting tradition honors the loquat in Asia.

It would be easy enough to paint a loquat in watercolors, without ink, as well.

Three-Color Study: Apples

Going through a period of disliking much of what I have been doing, it occurred to me that in addition to simplifying color detail, maybe it would also be a good idea to simplify my palette of colors.

Here, apples in a primary triad of sorts:  Quin Gold, Cobalt Teal, and Permanent Alizarin Crimson.

I was quite surprised at how deep I could get the shadows using the alizarin and teal, as well as how delicate the pale shades could be.  A bit overworked, too, but the lessons are sinking in if I am lucky!