I went shopping for interesting fruits today. I asked about Dragonfruit, but this it isn’t the season yet. Who knew? I did get my first vegetable for my table. I’m going to execute my first still life with a vegetable. I saw a really strange-looking Kiwi that looked like it was trying to be twins. The third fruit is a blood orange. For those of you who are familiar with Dexter, the TV show, pun is intended.
Yesterday, I spoke about being observant and aware of subtleties in what I draw or paint. Although it is frustrating trying to match the colors with my collection of paints, I have my trusty paint swatch collection that I would normally consult. Usually, that gets me started.
I also mentioned that I wanted to try my hand at doing more glazing. In watercolor, if one lets a layer of paint dry completely, flood it with a thin layer of water and apply a transparent watercolor (i.e., a watercolor that does not totally obscure the paper or color on which it is applied), the colors do not mix, but light reflected from the paper will mix as it passes through the layers. Each layer of glaze acts like a color gel. At least that’s what my Internet research revealed.
So today’s experiment is a bit of a Hail Mary. I had to trust that the colors would mix to make the color I wanted. So much for observation. I did use latex resist to preserve the highlights I observed, however.
Below is my sketch plus the first color I added: a lemon yellow. I tried to stay with the primary colors, since they mix to form the secondary colors.
I looked up the colors that were transparent and trusted that they would not give me a muddy looking result.
For the second layer, I used winsor red:
As you can see, the result was orange! So far, so good.
For the third stage, I used Prussian blue.
I didn’t quite know what to do at junction between the green of the lower part of the squash and the orange upper part. I was hoping that the mixture of orange and green watercolor layers would result in the same color I saw on the squash. It worked!
In the final stage, I worked on details of the orange and the green. I was forced to confront the kiwi. How in the world would I reproduce the fuzzy texture? I tried little tiny dots, but that didn’t seem to work.
I used yellow ochre as the base layer and washed with burnt umber, a reddish color. For the shadows I used Indanthone Blue, a darkish, almost indigo color.
Here is the final study:
For the most part, I am pleased with my first extended glazing experiment. I got most of the shading correct. The back edges of the kiwi are a bit indistinct and the details at the top of the squash could be tweaked a bit. I imagine that more details can be applied after the last glaze. But, in my research, I came across an important tidbit of advice. Stop right before you think you think you are finished. I can just imagine going a bit too far and mucking it all up.