Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Tangerines in opaque watercolour

My initial setup
 Every time I pull out the watercolours I hear the voice of one of my art instructors , "Do you want to be great in one medium, or good in several?"  This was at least 15 years ago!  Back then (as now) I mostly painted in oils - but occasionally was enticed by the fluid characteristics of watercolour.  Whether what he implied was true or not - I've opted to enjoy both mediums. 

completed pencil drawing

 I recently saw a Michael Klein demo where he painted some plums in watercolour.  I suppose that is what inspired me this time around.  For many years I applied myself to painting the landscape en plein air.  My foremost goal during that time was to get better with color - trying to match the sublime color of nature.  Every plein air painting is a race against the movement of the sun.  That being the case - I saw color and composition as most important and focused less on accurate drawing.  Lately, I find myself re-dedicated to careful drawing and this is especially important with watercolour.

frisbee on an open Box M pochade

 Here - against my better judgement, I've decided to let you in on a little secret.  Yep... the ideal watercolour palette is a frisbee.  Cheap and utilitarian!  In fact, I prefer it to my $90 Holbein palette.  I don't know if all frisbees have the built in wells like this one - but that is what I like about it.  There is also plenty of room to mix color.

There are many ways to begin a painting.  Here, I've opted to cover the simplest and largest areas.


 One of my favorite things about the setup was the translucency of the bowl.  I've begun to tend to that here.

I've begun to block in the masses of color.  Simple to complex... I've laid in the color in patches trying to identify the differences between each piece of fruit.  Once I'm satisfied with this - I'll begin to refine.

  I'm refining here - adding the far side of the bowl - paying attention to the beautiful color effect of the bounce light, translucency, and reflection.

5" x 7" opaque watercolour on cold pressed Arches 



Paintopolis said...

Very nice Eric! And now I'm going to have to go hunt down a frisbee. -- Kevin

Andrew Williams said...

Lovely. And what would your art tutor have said about Turner (great at oils and water colours!). Thanks for posting.

PleinEric said...

Thanks Kevin.

Thanks Andrew... I think his point was that "you're no Turner!"