Playing around with watercolours has opened my eyes up to how much fun they can be. The way the colours move and bleed into each other is wonderful.
It’s a great way to allow yourself to be expressive and free. The challenge is how to manipulate it so that it works for you while not being fiddly or edit it too much.
The under layer was looking a bit patchy and possibly too dark so I softened it by brushing on some water and then once it dried a light wash of Yellow Ochre which started to give it more shape.
The Payne Grey base was a fun technique – I brushed on the colour thickly then drew out the colour with a wet brush but didn’t actually let it touch the paint, only letting it run along the very edge of the paint so that it was “attracted” out. When it got close enough the colour bled out creating a nice blurry edge.
To give it more overall picture definition I added some burnt sienna (a great food colour!) which really lifted the picture and gave it some cohesion. I’m relieved that the meringue still looks light and fluffy while the filling looks rich, thick and golden.
The colours worked really well together. Across all of these dessert paintings I kept my colour palette very limited, sometimes only three or four colours.
As I began to detail the painting I was very conscious not to put in any linework. For instance I could have outlined the plate to give it shape but I allowed the shadows and reflections to give it volume, and probably works so much better.
The background was painted using one colour and while trying to create the shape of the nougat pieces I was developing the texture at the same time.
Despite the nuts showing really strong outlines I still didn’t want to just paint in lines then colour it in, so opted to paint in the shape then removing as much of the colour with water except for the very outer edges.
This picture was done in one go. The style was so expressive and colours so concentrated treating it the way I had been with the other paintings wouldn’t have worked. Anything I would have attempted might ruin the feel of it.
My favourite out of the lot. Initially the best bit was letting the colours flow down like the meringue swirl itself.
I’m also happy in being able to retain the contrast between the large, broad swathes of brushwork for the meringue and the tighter, detailed areas of the passionfruit and kiwi slices. My brushwork was heavy which irked me as meringue should be light and delicate.
The good thing with watercolour is you can, to a certain degree, remove paint which thankfully saved it.
My plan was to have the layers bleed into each other more but wasn’t able to do so. Its also very bright and “same-same”, my biggest problem with it is that it doesn’t look enticing to eat. If you’re drawing food it should look yummy.
The layers look like dried out kitchen sponges. It’s all very muddied and I tried to rescue it with Perylene Violet used for the jelly layer, hoping it would add some vitality, but it was a failed band-aid attempt instead.
I’m happy with the blueberry and rosemary sprig, but it does look like a blue pineapple.
One lesson learnt is that if you want to create a fluid and flowing effect it doesn’t mean you have to work fast. Some control needs to be exerted but how much and when, well… this is just the beginning for me in terms of learning to understand the balance between brushwork and controlling paint to allow watercolours to do their magic.
The Creative Plan – Day 4 Watercolour Paints