Playing with Pigments....and Cherries

1:52 PM

I have spent a very long week in "technology" and haven't had the brain cells left over to do any sketching at the end of the day.

However, when I was at the grocery this week, my heart did a little happy dance to see Rainier Cherries were back in season! Yummmm! Love those cherries! And almost (but not quite) as much as I love to eat them, I love to paint them.

So this morning, before I could burn out the last few brain cells I have left, I decided to get busy and sketch some of the juicy gems of goodness! I literally tossed a handful on the counter and started straight in with my brush—no sketching, no ink. Just paint.

Just getting started
I did this in part because I was short on time and second because there is something quite freeing about going into a page with just paint. I wasn't too worried about the making the cherries look just like the cherries on the counter because they're organic. No one's going to revoke my artistic license if they're not identical.
A few more on the page
The other reason I did this was because I wanted to play with my pigments and see what kind of mixes I could used to render the cherries convincingly.
Stems and Shadows Added
I wanted to find a good pigment combination that would make the cherries look real. I tried Azo Yellow, Hansa Yellow, Isoindoline Yellow, Quin. Gold and Raw Sienna. For reds, I tried Perylene Red,  Perylene Maroon, Anthraquinoid Red and Alizarin Crimson.*
Title added
I found that a mixed of Azo or Hansa Yellow with Quin Gold on the paper really made the best yellow for the cherries. Perylene red and Anthraquinoid Red made the best reds. The Perylene Maroon made a super dark for the cherries.
Tracing paper overlay with the pigment names and mixes used
But how was I going to remember that tomorrow let alone months down the road? By making notes. I just didn't want to make them on my artwork. So I made my color mixing notations on a piece of tracing paper.
The page taped in at the middle of the sketchbook.
I still have to trim down the edge. 
I've taped it to the page near the middle of the page and will be able to enjoy the artwork without the notes.
Final Page - Watercolor Only
Now, I could have made color charts and experimented with the different pigments that way, but isn't this more fun?!

*Alizarin Crimson is a extremely fugitive paint pigment. The replacement available on the market today is called Permanent Alizarin Crimson, but it isn't much more light fast than it's predecessor. However, in my sketchbook, which is my playground, I will use less than permanent paints to see the various effects and colors they make in mixtures.

If I create something wonderful that I don't want to lose, I take a high-resolution scan of it.

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