We were away this week, at Lake Winnepesauke in New Hampshire for the wedding of a young man we've known and loved since he was tiny, and the wonderful young woman he has chosen. That was a very happy event, and except for a torrential downpour and hailstorm that let loose half an hour after the outdoor ceremony (what a close call that was!) the weather and the lake were gorgeous, and reflected the happiness of the bride and groom.
Back here at the studio, I've been sewing a lot - more about that in another post - there's been a lot of fabric through the sewing machine since the beginning of summer. But I had time this week to do a couple of drawings/paintings and thought I'd share them here, since the same pear features in both but the approach is quite different.
In the one above, typical of a lot of my sketchbook pages, I've begun with a fast fountain pen line drawing, and then added some color. This was a delicious sugar-dusted orange and almond cake, made and brought by friends as a contribution to dinner one night; the next day it seemed to be crying out to be immortalized, so I sat down and drew it, adding the pear to the plate and leaving the silver cake cutter where it was, reflecting the golden crumbs of the cake interior. Once I would have slavishly tried to reproduce the exact colors of the scene; now I make up my own much more limited and intentional palette: here the golden browns are enhanced by the red in the napkin, and set off by the blue of the plate. Blue is also the basic tone used for all the shadows. I'm more interested now in creating a mood and an effect, rather than detailed realism.
In this one, I did a loose pencil under-drawing to place the shapes, and then painted directly with watercolor, without any pen line at all. Because this was also done in my sketchbook, I didn't have the benefit of "good" watercolor paper with a bit of tooth, and resiliency when soaked, but I like the result anyway. The effort here, in addition to the controlled, limited palette, was to define and relate the shapes and volumes in a more abstract way, drawing a bit with the brush, but keeping it all very loose. Because I hadn't done enough careful planning before beginning (the painting quickly got more ambitious than the initial sketch) I had to crop into the center to achieve a pleasing composition, but that's OK, it's good to crop or even cut up our work, turn the pages upside down and sideways. But I love spontaneous watercolor: its transparency, immediacy, and clarity are unequaled in any other medium, and in spite of always being less-valued than oil on canvas, I find it the most challenging, and want to get back to doing more of these.