Keep it simple, stupid

Still on holiday for this sketch (I’m eking them out). The chair had been calling to me for a couple of days. I liked the shape of it, the simplicity, moulded from a single piece (probably plastic) and upholstered in grey tweedy fabric. I knew I didn’t want to paint it. Somehow a line drawing seemed right, and fortunately it came without too much bother. I had fun with the slightly broken lines, and especially with the fringe on the cushion. I like the sparsity of the chair compared to the complexity of the plant and stool. Fineliners rule! (well, sometimes).

alex-chair-ink.jpg

Tip top

I do like asparagus. It’s beautiful, and it tastes good too. There is a downside, but we won’t talk about that here…

This bunch came from a local farm shop. They were huge, plump stalks in the prime of life, and so colourful they almost begged to be painted. And then eaten. Which is exactly what happened.

Asparagus watercolour

Ripe for Painting

A highlight of the late summer and early autumn is when the blackberries arrive. They seem to be rather early this year, but that’s a bonus. Roll on pies, crumbles, ice cream and supplies for the freezer to make winter more luxurious.

I really enjoyed painting this one, despite the obvious wrangles with some of the foliage and berries. A little success is always encouraging, and I do like the way the yellow shows through on a couple of the leaves, and the definition on the lower berries. I felt it was a bit courageous to go for a painted border, but I’m pleased I did. It was also a pleasure to be able to use some quite strong reds and pinks on the less ripe berries and thorns – those colours rarely seem to get an outing in my pictures.

Blackberry sprig watercolour

A Chilli Reception

Isn’t it funny that just when you think you’ve made a decent picture, fate intervenes and reminds you with the next one that she plays a part in your success too? I bought these chilli plants yesterday and thought that I could paint them in watercolour. Boy, has it been a struggle.

Chilli plants watercolourI’ve finished the picture, and although it’s kind of ok, I’m still feeling there’s something missing. I think my issues might have been partly due to the fact that I didn’t have a very clear picture in my head of how I wanted this to look.

First I painted the plants very lightly and sketchily in yellows and pale greens. The little chillies just looked wishy-washy and malformed. I added a darker green, and they still looked unconvincing. They only started to perk up a little bit when I threw in some Windsor Blue, but I feel that even that wasn’t their salvation.

I don’t know. Some you win, some you, well, don’t win so much… But onwards and upwards!