Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Bitter melon

I saw this curious thing in the new(ish) Indian supermarket near Access to Music/Epic on Magdalen St, and thought it looked like a good subject for a painting. It's a bitter melon, a kind of cucumber/gourd thing, widely used in all Asian cookery. Can't waste it so will be reporting back later on that.

This needs a few tidying touches, but generally I'm pleased. It was daunting - all those knobbles and ridges, and it's not particularly big either, just 20cms tip to tip. I did it roughly to scale though, partly because the paper I have won't let me go much bigger anyway.

I didn't stretch the paper -  I thought it might be heavy enough to not cockle (my new favourite word), but you can clearly see that it did. Not too much, at least not enough to abandon the process.  But now I'll need to attempt a post-painting stretch...lots of people online suggesting it can be done with a steam iron. That sounds drastic, so I'll do a bit of research and a test run before trying it on this.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Two pink ladies

I like me a nice apple. 

Here's another little study, 22 x 13cm, roughly to scale. Inspired by Phil (the wag) who suggested if I painted two apples then I would have a pear! They are and will almost certainly remain unfinished. I let the colour veer off into a rather cox's pippin orange shade, and it was getting increasingly difficult to pull it back to a cooler and sort of less saturated pink that the typical Pink Lady exhibits. As a result they've got a bit 'overworked' and the paper (cheap, but serviceable for learning) won't take much more

So I cut my losses and ate them. Delicious.

Oddly, they now look far more convincing in the photo than they do in real life.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

bit of painting

As per usual, blog posting has fallen by the wayside. But, after finally getting round to pursuing the urge to do a bit of painting after many (many many many) years of not, I thought it might be a thing to post about my few efforts to date.

It started with wanting to make a birthday gift for my sister, who likes birds, owls in particular. Our mum was a bit of an owl fan. I finally got round to actually doing it, and it worked out ok.

Then somebody expressed serious interest in having a set. I did these and they've gone to their new home.

Then I did a dead daff. I love those plain and unassuming bunches of tightly furled spring daffodils, it's a simple and enchanting magic as they unwrap themselves - often overnight - and then you know that winter won't last much longer, that spring is gathering pace. I'm a complete sucker for a bunch of flowers, and I love it when they go over too, when the petals start drooping, dropping, and drying to an incredibly delicate tissue.

A comment from my son and others prompted me to have a bit of a read about botanical illustration - which has given me plenty of food for thought. As a result, I had a bit of a go at a pair of pears - they seem to be a favourite subject for botanical style watercolour.

And then I had a go at some grapes.

And then an apple. A cheap, un-named eater. I had a few cards printed up, just to see how well it might translate. No frills, but not necessarily bad either. 

That's it for now - so far, so good I guess!