Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First fruits!

I can see why people have gardens. We bought a tomato plant about a month ago and one tomato ripened just a few weeks later. (The plant already had green tomatoes on it.) This week, between the rain we've had and now the heat, several more have begun to ripen. What a wonderful subject for my WC pencils class!

I loved the fact that each tomato was a different color. And now I know a bit more about the plant. For instance, the stem that goes to each tomato actually bends; it's not just a curve. I should have omitted the teeny green tomato in the center as I couldn't get it to pop out sufficiently. Still, this may provide me with more details for a real painting later on.

Pine cone

This pine cone was a found object from one of my recent walks. I decided to do a detailed observation of it for my WC pencils class. As I examined it closely, I realized that the dark parts of it formed a nice pattern, a real spiral. I also thought it would be good to do a step-by-step drawing of it.

Here's the pine cone, pretty ordinary looking, with the finished one beside it:

I sketched it and then lightly shaded in the darks, trying to emphasize their spiral pattern:

Next was to paint the darks:

I tried to get initial details in:

It was clear that I'd never really looked at a pine cone before. (!) As I paid attention to it, I observed that it must have opened out like a flower as it was growing, and that there were two distinct parts to each "petal". Rather than try to paint these further details immediately, I thought it would be better to work out what I needed to do to paint the petal. This observational shot shows how I approached it, first going way too dark and then finally LOOKING at it:

And finally it was time to lightly sketch in a shadow:

I hope you found this helpful!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Perseverance is what counts

Here's a shot of a calla lily that I did a few weeks ago. I like the shading and the fact that even the shadows read as "white" but clearly it could be improved. Will be working on it.