I am always looking for interesting objects to draw for practice. I found some beautiful radishes with frilly leaves and gnarly roots and placed them on a glass table, where they created interesting shadows and reflections as the sunlight changed over the course of a couple of hours.
Translating this composition to watercolor, I added a horizon line so the radishes would not seem to float in space. As with the pear paintings, I limited my palette to three colors, mixed and applied (patiently) in layers.
This is Quinacridone Rose, Aureolin (Cobalt) Yellow and Pthalo Blue. I used masking fluid to retain my lightest areas. Removing it damaged the thin, 140 pound paper in a couple of places. Grrr.
I like to work in a series, so next I splurged and used a sheet of 300 pound paper. These sheets are mounted in a block and glued on three edges so they do not buckle when wet. No stretching and taping required. I love this stuff!
I changed my blue in the next two paintings to Prussian Blue. The masking fluid came off this paper without incident.
I took what I learned from the first two and painted one more version on the back of the heavier paper. I’d removed it from the block and used no masking fluid this time. I got brighter greens with overwashes of pure yellow but they were SO bright that I pumped up the red in the radishes to balance the values. This version was painted the fastest and with the fewest brushstrokes.
I’m feeling more comfortable with watercolor as I paint more frequently. And I’m feeling better about my drawing skills. Onward to more complex shapes as I work my way through the pantry and into a figure drawing class.