Actually my watercolor study isn’t all that big (12″x9″) but it certainly is a lot bigger than the actual avocado itself…
I’ve been eating a lot of avocados. In addition to being healthy for me, I can’t resist the temptation to see if I can sprout another tree. Those of you who have been following my blog might remember Arthur. I can’t take credit for that name, however. Alfred E. Newman, from MAD Magazine had an avocado tree. I used to see it from time to time when I read MAD in the 1960s. From then on, ‘Arthur’ had to be the name of any of my avocado trees.
Within the past couple of weeks, two of my avocado pits decided to sprout roots. I kept one inside and carefully planted the other. I keep it pretty saturated with water to replicate the ‘in-the-womb’ feeling of the water-filled jar. It hasn’t sprouted a leaf yet and I plan to measure his leaf appearance to Jr., who is still on the bottle. (I know it’s not good to compare offspring… I just want to know that they both hit their marks.) When ‘potted’ Arthur shows me some leaves, s/he will become Arthur III.
One of the most interesting things about Arthur Jr. (on the bottle) is that his pit split within a couple of days of becoming immersed in water. It seems to be a different kind of avocado than big Arthur. It is more pointy. Arthur’s pit was a lot more round. I’ll know more when I see the leaves.
Today’s watercolor study:
I wanted to show how nearly completely split Jr.’s pit had become. This was amazing to me. How could a plant grow from the tiniest of intersections, the almost coincidental tangential touch of two halves of the pit?
Jr.’s containing jar prevented me from showing this properly and I did not want to take him out of the water to sketch him. Arthur Jr.’s root is the white, pencil-outlined projection just below the rim of the jar.
Yellow Ochre is almost identical to the actual color of the pit; the dark shell that did not come off the pit was nearly identical to Sepia. I used a combination of Payne’s Gray and Cerulean Blue for the water. I was not able to capture the bright yellowish reflections on the left side of the jar, nor the direct lighting on the right side. I could have probably worked this through a little more with an elephant’s ear sponge to rub off some of the pigment. Replacement of the pigment with a yellow tone, or laying down a darker tone adjacent to it, could probably have helped.
Next time I will use diffuse lighting and a different jar, so I don’t have to bother with complex reflections.