Last Saturday, I set up a seasonal still-life of gourds and pumpkins. I modified it a bit for the Tuesday classes. My demonstration didn’t vary much from the Saturday demo, either. These objects are challenging but a lot of fun to paint. We discussed two main and somewhat different approaches.
Have a look at the study on the lower left of the demonstration sheet. My first step was to establish the core shadow of the pumpkin with a grey wash. The grey was a mixture of Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue. I painted the entire shape with clean water and, while it was still wet, touched the grey wash into the area where I’d observed the core shadow. As both washes were wet, a soft edge was created. When this step was perfectly dry, I painted the pumpkin again with an orange wash. The shadow of the stem was also established with a grey wash and was dry when I added a light green wash over it.
The study on the upper right was painted with the same process. The orange stripes were the final step.
The upper middle study was painted with a different process; ‘light to dark’ and ‘big to small’. I started with a light yellow wash throughout the shape. While wet, I added a darker value to indicate the core shadow. Once dry, I added the stripes, trying to follow the form of the gourd in order to give it a three-dimensional quality.
The dark green gourd was painted with a mixture of Pthalo Green and Rose Madder Quinacridone. This odd combination can produce a really blackish green.
Tuesday classes are three hours long and the students have less painting time than the all-day Sustained Saturday participants. With that in mind, most tend to work a little smaller and take on fewer objects in their compositions. Although I strongly stress the learning process over the final product, it is kind of nice to finish a watercolour once in a while. Finished or not, they came up with some very nice work.