Needless to say, these are not pears I would want to eat!
Today I used some 5×7 HP Strathmore 500 paper for the first time. The texture is very smooth. It makes it a bit of a challenge to paint with gouache as there is very little tooth compared with CP / Not paper.
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!
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.
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.
Plums are appearing in the markets, and they are great to eat out of hand and to paint. I used Hansa Yellow, Cobalt Teal, and this time, Lamp Black to see how it would work with the other two colors. No reds in this triad.
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!