Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Big Beet--The Going Big Project Part 1

First up in my July watercolor studio class:  fruits and vegetables.  Our choice.

Farmers' Market is going great guns here in Michigan right now, so I trolled all the available goodies and decided on some beets of various colors.  I liked the roots, the greens, the deep colors.

I go into this painting class knowing that I have trouble getting deep colors, with the level of contrast that I like.  So these seemed like a good subject.

I reminded myself of my three goals:
  1. Go Big
  2. Don't lose my sketchbook style
  3. Let the watercolor do more of the work for me
First thing, to warm up, I sketched a golden beet in my sketchbook.  I'm working in a Strathmore mixed media 500 book right now.

I'm pleased with how this sketch turned out, with a sense of the roundness of the root and the layers of the various leaves coming off of it. 

I also discovered the Daniel Smith quinacridone gold is one of my new favorite colors!  You see it here throughout, but most clearly in the top of the beet.

Next, for fun, I tried the same beet again, on a super rough watercolor paper from India.

Exact same colors and brushes.  Very interesting how the color settles in the pockets of the paper and creates a more mottled effect.  Plus, scanning the paper throws all kinds of weird shadows (that's why it looks gray speckled in the scan above).  

Finally, I felt warmed up enough to tackled the beets!  ALL THE BEETS!!!  PLUS GREENS!!!!


So here is my Go Big version of the beets, on 18 x 24 Strathmore 400 watercolor paper.

And for fun, here's a final shot of the beets and all three of my versions, done in about three hours.

I moved pretty fast, as you can imagine, to get these done (along with chatting and drinking coffee with my colleagues) in three hours.

I think, however, that's part of my sketchbook style.  I like to move quickly most of the time.  Sometimes, yeah, I like to sit and really draw something measured and detailed.  But most of the time, I'm more interested in fast lines, with some level of accuracy, that capture and convey what I'm noticing.

And hey!  Look, ma!  No pen!  No pencil either, actually.  I went right onto the paper in all three of these directly with paint on my brush.  I'm not sure if I'm letting the watercolor do more of the work for me, yet.  I think it's more like now I'm drawing with paint instead of pen.  But I did remember to allow the washes to bleed and blend, particularly on the beets themselves.

Super fun.  Looking forward to drawing more beets soon.  And maybe some other fruits and vegetables!

No comments:

Post a Comment