Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – Pomegranates!

Saturday Still Life

The pomegranates from Tuesday went into cold storage for a few days and were good to go for the Saturday group. I set them up with terracotta objects and the still life had a more monochromatic look than it did on Tuesday when they were grouped with dark green pots and vases.

Value is always of fundamental importance in painting and drawing but, possibly, even more so with a monochrome subject. How do we make dark red pomegranates stand out from the orangish pots and bowls?

For starters, keep the lightest areas as light as you can. The light hitting the top of my pomegranate is barely darker than the white paper. If I placed a terracotta pot behind it, even a shadow of middle value would be able to set off the light to real advantage.

Secondly, we have to achieve dark values for the shadow areas of these orange and red objects. That’s where blue comes in. I used Cobalt Blue to darken the values on my study sheet. Ultramarine Blue would also do the job. Blue is very powerful and gives the shadows the needed depth.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

It was a full house at the studio today and it was a good place to be. Nice and warm with the smell of coffee and fresh baked goodies and crackling with creative energy and quiet jazz. Outside? Don’t ask! November was not at it’s best. We had a lot of fine work to view at the end of the day. Several of the students did more than one painting and many spent time on studies and sketches, as well. The pomegranates have done their bit and now will go to their final, tasty reward.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique


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