Ordinary

Today’s watercolor experiment:

Every now and then an ordinary thing strikes my fancy. Today it was my antioxidant cocktail.  I made the mistake of buying a drink that mixed pomegranate, blueberry and cranberry juices together. It made my mouth water as I put it in my shopping cart. Only when I got it home did I realize that there were 28 grams of sugar in each serving. Yikes!  So I have been making a habit of pouring just a little in my glass and filling the rest up with diet ginger ale.  The image below is a top view of my lunchtime drink.

Photo: Top View of Bubbly Drink

Process:

The photo above is in square format, the most appropriate  to capture a circular subject. I used square paper as well, for the same reason.

I was thinking of using my compass to make perfect circles, but then I was faced with some problems: 1) there were too many bubbles to count; 2) the radius of the bubbles were too small for my 6″x6″ paper, (Given the minimum radius of my compass, I estimate that my painting would have to be at least 18″ square); 3) I wanted to finish the painting in one day, not one year.

Since my goal was not an hyperrealistic, or for that matter even a realistic rendering of the photograph, I settled for drawing the bubbles by hand. I used a fine-tip India ink pen for the bubbles and the foamy substance in the center of the glass. The rim of the glass exhibits Hooker’s green pigment.

While the bubbles and the foam were interesting, the background colors added an eye catching pictorial element to the composition.

I began with the colors around the periphery: turquoise, perinone and cadmium orange, cadmium yellow and yellow ochre. I used a combination of permanent mauve, quinacridone purple and alizarine crimson in different proportions at different places, for the juice drink. I colored in half of each bubble with the same color. The other half of the bubbles’ surfaces were the bright whitish color of reflection of the environment. There are only a few bubbles on the bottom that lens the blue color of the book on which the glass sits.  If you look carefully, at about 4 O’Clock you will see these partly blue-colored bubbles.

Watercolor: Top View of Bubbly Drink

Anti-Oxidant Cocktail
6×6″ Watercolor Pad

Comment:

At first, I was not satisfied with the complexity of my rendering, even though I chose not to make a realistic copy of the photograph. As I mentioned, I did not have the patience to re-create each little bubble. But a passing glance at the watercolor, after I put it away for a while, gave me the same impression as the photograph.  I had the sense of a glass filled with  effervescent liquid.  I am quite pleased that I was able to do this.

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