Delicious colors

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.

Radishes copyright Peggy Willett

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. Radishes 1 copyright Peggy Willett

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.

Radishes 2 copyright Peggy Willett

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.

Radishes 3 copyright Peggy Willett

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.

 

 

One year later…

I began my blog almost exactly a year ago with several goals in mind:

  • To document my efforts to be a more creative person after leaving my work life.
  • As a way to share my retirement journey with friends and family.
  • To connect with others who are figuring out their own ‘seniority’ and creativity.
  • To keep and improve my writing and computer skills.

Though I hit a creative block for a few months and I’ve not posted recently, I’ve made some progress toward all these goals and hope to write more frequently in the new year.

So I begin again!

I continue to struggle with watercolor. The medium confounds me most days! So I took a break from the paints for a few months to work on my basic drawing skills, which I think will eventually make me a better painter.

Over the summer and into the fall, I drew various fruits and vegetables which were at hand from my pantry.  Good practice for form, composition and values.

Two pears

Now, I am trying my hand at translating some pencil drawings to water color.

Two pears in watercolor

More to come!