Cherry still life studies

Cherries are fun to paint because of the luscious color and the contrast between the plump fruit and the delicate stems.

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Cherries I, watercolor study, 8x5", 2009
Cherries I, watercolor study, 8x5", 2009

Last week on vacation I got started on cherries!  They’re fun to paint because of the luscious color and the contrast between the plump fruit and the delicate stems.

I like to attack the darks with loads of pigment, just get down as much as I can and leave it.  I did do a little layering with more concentrated paint on top (cadmium red for the red highlights, alizarin, prussian blue & Payne’s gray for the dark darks.)  No masking fluid on these – the light highlights were saved or lifted while the paint was wet.

Cherries II, watercolor study, 8x5", 2009
Cherries II, watercolor study, 8x5", 2009

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Starting a new watercolor still life

Just started a new still life! I got started painting cherries last week while on vacation and just couldn’t stop.

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Doesn't look like much yet but trust me, those light pencil marks are the backbone of a piece!  Look hard - you might be able to see the masking fluid.
Doesn't look like much yet but trust me, those light pencil marks are the backbone of a piece! Look hard - you might be able to see the masking fluid.

Just started a new still life!  I got started painting cherries last week while on vacation and just couldn’t stop.  (I’ll post some pics soon.)  So this week I bought more and set a few up in my studio.

Ate the rest.  They were delicious.  I’ll have to paint fast before someone snatches my models!

The pic on the left is a detail of the initial pencil sketch.  Hard to photograph.  My camera rebelled!

More to come as the piece progresses.

Here's a shot of the still life.  You can tell I'm no art photographer!  The painting should turn out well, though, in the nice north light in my studio.
Here's a shot of the still life. You can tell I'm no art photographer! The painting should turn out well, though, in the nice north light in my studio.

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How to Fix Mistakes in Watercolor

My mom mentioned she’d been sketching but felt intimidated by watercolor because “if you make a mistake you can’t correct it.”

“You know, ” I said, “watercolor’s a lot more forgiving than people give it credit for. “

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Knowing your paints can really help when you make mistakes in watercolor!
Knowing your paints can really help when you make mistakes in watercolor!

I spent last week up in Michigan’s U.P. at a family reunion.  My mom (a true artist on the piano) happened to mention that she’d been sketching but felt intimidated by watercolor because “if you make a mistake you can’t correct it.”

“You know, ” I said, “watercolor’s a lot more forgiving than people give it credit for. “

And it’s true.

There are a couple things you need to know about correcting mistakes in watercolor.

One is to move quickly.  If you wipe it up right away with a clean wet brush or damp paper towel, you can usually get even the most staining colors to lift quite a lot.

The other is to know your pigments.  Some hues in watercolor are a lot more forgiving than others.  They’re known as “non-staining” colors, and they’re easy to remove from the paper with your damp brush or towel even after they’ve dried.

Other hues stain like crazy so you’d better move like lightning to get up as much as you can if they land somewhere unwelcome!

Non-staining colors generally have larger pigment particles which are less likely to adhere to the paper.  Most of the earth tones are non- or low-staining colors.  Some examples are yellow ochre, burnt sienna and cerulean blue.

Examples of staining pigments are pthalo blue (VERY staining!) and alizarin crimson.

Daniel Smith has a great line of watercolors.  One of the things I really like about shopping for them is that they tell you all the characteristics of each hue right on the page.  It really helps when you’re choosing paints you’ve never tried before!

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What’s on my easel today

Work in Progress - Horse art in watercolor 28 x22"
Work in Progress - Horse art in watercolor 28 x22"

This one’s been sitting partially done for quite some time.  Think it’s about time to pull it out and finish it!

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Welcome to my studio!

Hard to know what to say on a first post.  Think I’ll  go create some galleries.

Enjoy, and thanks for visiting – let me know what you think!

Anne

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