Come and Sketch At the Beach!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Playing with Pigments....and Cherries

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?!
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*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.

28 comments:

  1. I love Rainier cherries and your sketch is quite lovely.

    xoxo

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! I like the Rainiers far better than bing cherries.

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  2. Your painted cherries looks just as good as the physical one...YUMM!

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    1. They don't taste as good though! Kidding! Thank you!

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  3. Absolutely yummy..... yes, on many levels :)

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  4. Beautiful cherries and beautiful page, Laure.

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  5. Delicious looking cherries and what a clever idea for color notations!

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    1. Thanks, Ann, as CRS sets in, I have to get better at writing things down!

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  6. Super page and great tip about using the tracing paper for the notes. Thanks!

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    1. Hope it helps, Ruca! It helps me a great deal.

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  7. That thanks for another great idea!

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  8. Aren't you the clever one - I love the tracing paper idea! And I love your finished page too - very yummy!

    Now I have to ask - what palette is pictured? I seem have a thing for palettes these days, almost as much as the paints.

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    1. I have my moments!! LOL!

      The palette is a Winsor and Newton that I purchased off from eBayUK. I have also modified it so it's not quite like it used to be.

      Sounds like you have been bitten by the bug—badly! Wish I could tell you there's a cure, but there's not.

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  9. This page is clever and beautiful. I want to pick them off the page to eat. I look at your colors you use and think..I just pick yellow or red or blue from my rinky dink paint pallet. I really need to venture out for some better colors.

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    1. Be careful, Cris! Exploration is a good thing, but you can get in deep pretty easily. Go slow and educate yourself along the way!

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  10. They look super! I could pick one off the page to eat! I am playing around in odd moments too doing my last page for Greece. I am hoping to get going on the Japanese Garden this week. Busy times for everyone and painting playtime can really help relax you. (I've got to take photos of my granddaughters' artwork which was made with the fugitive Tombow). My first thought on your alizarin was well then, why use it and then I remembered how I love to play with the Tombows. Guess they are good reminders that life itself cannot always be taken so seriously as it is fugitive also.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Timaree, life if fugitive, enjoy it while we can!! Enjoy CA!!

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  11. Great idea to use the tracing paper. The cherries, both painted and real, look scrumtious!

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  12. Did you make your book? Wow, it's beautiful.

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    1. Yes, I did! You can see more on it here:
      http://paintedthoughtsblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-passion.html

      This is my pineapple journal...so called because of the stamp on the cover.

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