Saturday, July 24, 2010
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! :-)