Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Six

I made one change to the still-life from Saturday. I took out the white jars and replaced them with more red peppers. We discussed reds during the demonstration and I also gave my thoughts on highlights.

“A little goes a long way” summarizes my feelings about highlights. I don’t like huge highlights and I don’t like them dead-centre on the object. The tomato shows two paper-white highlights. I simply painted around the dry paper to create them. Also, there is a sliver of paper-white on the upper left of the tomato which allowed me to separate the bumps.

I’ve used a bit of dry paper-white on the zucchini but the large highlit area was painted with water before touching in some colour.

Step One of the red pepper was done wet-in-wet. I have only two reds in my palette, Permanent Red and Rose Madder Quinacridone from Da Vinci. Here I added yellow to the Permanent Red at the top of the pepper and RMQ to darken the lower area. Sometimes, I’ll use a touch of Cobalt Blue to deepen the darks.

Step Two completes the body of the pepper. The bumps at the back help give it shape and structure. Any highlights on the back edge are very small but I often ignore them completely.

The drawing is very important throughout but Step Three shows how the stem can define the top of the pepper. Two values give form to the stem.

Step Four adds context. I kept the top of the pepper light and now it glows nicely against the deeper colour behind it. I usually work ‘big to small’ so I painted the fabric with a varied off-white before I added the stripes.

In Step Five I’ve added a few very dark touches, in particular to the stem and to the ‘points of contact’ within the cast shadows.

Initially, I painted the cast shadow over the stripes and they seemed to lose a bit of their strength so I darkened them within the cast shadow area.

It was a fine day of pepper painting. Both the AM and PM classes did a terrific job. Three of the PM students created very successful studies in pen and ink, as well.


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