Enjoy life now... it has an expiration date.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cherries..... and blueberries!







Cherries, Watercolor. Original size: 9 x 6, now bookmark sized.

If there's one thing I learned from this little piece, it's the importance of shadows.

There I was, merrily painting away, thinking that, hey, things were going fairly well (you know what they say about pride going before a fall) when I got to the shadows. So diligent was I about new techniques I was trying that I really hadn't given much thought to the shadows. Mistake Number One. They weren't neat shadows with clean edges that were easy to draw and paint. They were sort of there, and yet they really weren't there. So I decided I wouldn't worry about the shadows, I'd work on those yummy red cherries and just wing it when I got to the shadows. Mistake Number Two. You're going to cringe when you read this next part. Not sure I should actually admit to this... but, in the spirit of learning, here goes. For the shadows, I loaded up what I thought was a rich dark color, quite suitable for shadows, and then just dropped in this strong color with no particular aim or plan. I know, I know.... Mistake Number Three. I guess I thought the paint knew where it was supposed to go, and, like well behaved paint, would produce wonderful shadows to make those cherries pop! I laugh now - even as I'm typing this - thinking about my blissful ignorance and audacity. As you can see, I got exactly what I deserved for giving those all-important shadows short shrift.... a misshapen lump of some dark thing that's creeping up on the cherries.

As I looked at the mess I'd made (and thought about how much time I had in this one little painting) I remembered something Jo once said (Bless you, Jo!), "Why not cut out the part you like and make a book mark"? A Ha! A bookmark it is! So, the final, much narrower version is now a one-of-a-kind bookmark. Which, appropriately, I shall use while I'm doing some studying on shadows and light. I now have a new found respect for shadows.

Aside from the shadow fiasco, I was okay with the lace and the reflections on the side of the bowl... my first time tackling that kind of subject. I'm usually not big on still lifes, but I really enjoyed doing this one. (BTW: the yellow cast on the highlights in the first 3 photos is masking fluid).

And the blueberry pies in the last photo? This is the time of the year when my blog earns its name. So far, I've picked 72 quarts of blueberries. Made these two pies in between WIP's 3 & 4. At least something came out alright! :-)

27 comments:

Simone said...

The cherry bookmark is gorgeous! The cheries are so glossy and edible looking. Your work is so perfect to me it is difficult to see your mistakes until you point them out! The blueberry pies look delicious. Would you mind sharing the recipe Teresa? I would love to make an authentic American Blueberry pie! x

Katherine Thomas said...

Beautiful cherries, and beautiful words to read! Thanks!

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Teresa!.... What a unique use for this unusual format!

Light and shadow combine to create such a powerful force in a work. Add a dash of rich colour... as "You" know how to... and you have a ... Gem!

Good Painting!
Warmest regards,
Bruce

Ashley said...

You certainly have some amazing talent! I certainly appreciate your kind words about my husband being deployed. We will certainly pray for your son-in-law...no matter the branch or deployment, its always hard! Take care!

Dors said...

I have to smile along with you but I do know the frustration. The cherry bookmark looks wonderful so realistic.
Something good always comes out of bad. LOL Now you have the best bookmark ever. Hope you laminate it and keep it for ever.. It will always remind you about the importance of shadows.

Your work is always great and perfect as is your wonderful Blueberry pies. Yummy.

Jo Castillo said...

Oh my! such delicious looking cherries! You did a lovely job on the lace and shadows on the bowl.

Thank you for the kind remarks and link to my blog. You are so nice. :)

I hope you enjoy the bookmark. They make nice gifts, too.

Claire M said...

I like the cherries that you've posted, and it is fun to see the steps along the way.

As for the blueberry pies.... now those would be so much better tasted in real life! I can't believe the volume that you've picked this year. Fantastic!!

Rosie said...

It is always interesting to read how you approach and execute your painting - I love the cherries - what a super bookmark they make. Those pies look delicious too:)

Pat said...

There are times you love one particular part of a painting more - and what a novel idea to make it a bookmark. You now have the most stunning bookmark I have ever seen!

Keith said...

You know what. I think how you cropped the image in the end was 100% the best decision, regardless of how happy you were with the shadows. It makes the composition tight and sharp.

Have you tried working into shadows ? Arm yourself with a good fine nylon brush, dampen it, and you can lift parts of the wash up and work into the shadow to bring it back to where you want it.

But you don't need to here 'cos that end result is a corker.

And can I have a slice of pie please ?

Jan said...

What a wonderful way of making "lemonade" from your cherries painting! You illustrate wonderfully why I rarely paint in watercolor though. Somehow, I just can't get my mind around everything that needs to be planned ahead!

You've done so much better than I ever would so hope you aren't beating yourself up over this painting! It really came out beautifully.

Jan said...

I couldn't even comment on the pies - my mouth was watering so much that it dripped on the computer keys and my fingers kept slipping off!

They look YUMMY!

Ann said...

Maybe you could do a whole series of watercolors in that format and frame them together? The lace and where it is reflected into the bowl is awesome! And those cherries look good enough to eat! Of course those pies...yum!

Laure Ferlita said...

Hmmm, yes, watercolor is a......tough....teacher. No holds barred! However, your save was every bit as important (not to mention good) as the lesson!

Well done!

padmaja said...

Teresa, it is a beautiful piece, especially with water color, it is tough going with shadows, but I liked how you were proceeding. Cropping the best part was a wise decision, and using it as a book mark is wonderful, but you could have tried lifting up some color for the 2 cherries that merged in tot he shadows, overall, a nice post and a reminder while working with shadows, thanks for sharing!

"JeanneG" said...

I want some pie.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Great save, Teresa! Your cherries look delicious, and the pies!! Incredible. Are you going to paint the pies, too? They'd make a good subject.

knittingdragonflies said...

That is how I'm operating! I had to laugh, I think the paint is suppose to go where it belongs! What it doesn't?
I love the cherries, a bookmark is a great idea!
Man! Your blueberry pies have my mouth watering!!
They look so good, that is worth some soar muscles. But 71 quarts!? *wow*
Vicki
Sending some Bengay your way!

Ralph said...

Now how I wished I could paint watercolours like that.

Gary Keimig said...

What? Cherry Pies? Not blueberries? :<)
I agree with everything Bruce Sherman said. You are really close to a great painting.

Candy said...

You and Jo are very clever. I never thought of bookmarks before. I'm the queen of scrubbing out and it's not always successful:) The cherries are lovely. I could go for dessert now, and those pies look yummy! A piece of blueberry pie and an ice cold glass of milk, please.

Lynne said...

I thought I was looking at a real bowl of cherries at first! Now that would be a bookmark to treasure.
Thank you for your lovely comment.

Suzanne said...

Love the cherry bookmark!!!
Great idea :)
The lace is very beautiful too!

Joanne Hanson said...

The cropped painting is a gem, and wasted as a bookmark. Frame it!

Jo Castillo said...

Teresa, Acctually Joanne Hanson is right. What I actually meant is if you cut up the bad part into 1 1/2 inch slivers and give as bookmarks. Put a little tassle through a hole in the end. People love to get a sample free. Sometimes the slivers don't look like anything except colorful abstracts. You should frame the good part. My mistake in speaking the first time. Sorry....

Krista Meister said...

That darn paint - it just won't obey sometimes, will it??? I do like your "save" of turning it into a bookmark - that'll teach it! - if it doesn't behave, it gets lopped off!!! Mine usually get banished to the closet until it can behave better.

IrinaSztukowski said...

Flowers, cherries, butterflies! Gosh, you are an amazing Artist Teresa.
Thank you for your lessons and your art.
Irina

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...