Getting closer, but still a way from what I want, and a long long way from approaching the apples off maybe the best apple painter in watercolor, Charles Demuth. (The best, imho, in oil is of course Cezanne!)
Charles Demuth, Still Life: Apples and Green Glass, 1925
As with recent boat painting, I settled on a technique at the end rather than the beginning! At least I'll know what to do next time.
Here, I painted the bird and the more prominent branches then began thinking of the background.
So, I wet the background with a light warm-to-cool wash and painted branches into it using palette grays. I wasn't happy with some on the left, so I smushed them together. When it dried, I added a few more light branches.
I'll be starting a portrait class this week. I'm not interested in portraiture per se, but I thought paintimg people would be a good challenge ... Sometimes challenges yield good results.
The teacher is an oil and acrylic painter, and that's where the focus will be, I guess, but I'll be using watercolor. If I get brave, ink.
I surreptitiously (or not so surreptitiously, according to my friend) snapped pictures of this young woman at an outdoor bar in Atlantic City. I liked the strong light, and her hair is a gorgeous deep copper color!
The shadows on her face, especially around her mouth, are a little weird, but maybe will work better in watercolor. 🤞
And a page of blind contour drawings from lesson 1 of sktchy's 30 faces 30 days online class
Looking for subjects to paint over graded washes...
I wanted to not create a hard line between the boat and the water, especially on the shaded side, and may have gone over it too many times. But, on my last pass, I finally hit upon the technique that gave me the effect I wanted: with the painting on a 45 degree angle, put on some realtively strong paint, then flooded it with water.
My neighbor gave me a big basket of fruit that contained some Delicious apples; since I usually find I don't like to eat them, I thought I'd try painting them.
May go back to eating them! Seriously, I'm having some trouble with these apples!
When I first started painting, I used to paint apples all the time ... MacIntoshes. The Delicious apple is more difficult for me: 1) I cannot get the color, neither the dark red nor the almost translucent yellow-green that you can see in places, and 2) I somehow cannot really grasp the volume, the shape ... where it turns, where it's flat; I have tried some different lighting, hoping it would help but I haven't hit on the magic formula yet.
These are some quick studies. I was of course hoping to get a reasonable facsimile of a Delicious straight off, but since I didn't, and can't, I'm going to keep trying to figure it out.
Little, uncomplicated bird paintings are a good way for me to get back into a semi-regular painting practice.
Planning to focus on birds for the next month or so.
Instagram has a widget that selects your nine most popular post of the year; these are mine. Most of the paintings were done recently; the top left and bottom right are from the summer.
You can find me on Instagram as: laurastarrett
My teacher and friend Marie Natale held a two-day workshop this week. The first morning started out gray and cloudy, but we went ahead and it cleared up beautifully.
I started a second painting, planning to capture more sparkle on the water--getting the right ratio of water to pigment continues to be the major challenge--but the wind kicked up and we moved to a more sheltered location.
This time I made a loose sketch of the scene, which I think helped me try to arrange the space ... though I still overdid it somewhat: I'd like to reduce the the grass shapes to just a few large shapes.
The Red Store is a very popular--and very high end--cafe and small grocer. Back in the day it was a mom and pop general store; now they sell their fresh squeezed juices for like $8 a glass. On a weekend morning people stream in and out without a pause. An idyllic setting, but I can't help but feel a little conflicted! Maybe that's why I can never do a decent painting of the place ... or maybe it's just the hard to reproduce red it's painted!
I did a nice sketc of this scene: keeping the building in the background and focusing on the Joe Pye weed in the foreground. But when I transferred the drawing to the watercolor paper, I made the building too prominent. So I redrew it (below) but by then I'd lost interest.
Haven't decided if I'll try to salvage this or not. Maybe not, because I really don't care about it!