Sketching Before Breakfast #3 Mystery Pears and More

Two pears and an apple on breakfast table; morning sketch in Procreate on the iPad.

Two pears and an apple on breakfast table; morning sketch in Procreate on the iPad.

And we have more morning sketches. I was really trying to force myself to stick to 3 values for each object. My glass-topped table is so great with its frosted glass square design elements and reflections.

Unfinished sketch of bananas and lemon on the table

Unfinished sketch of bananas and lemon on the table

Super quick sketch done on Procreate on my iPhone with my finger, barely had a minute to draw but didn't want to lose momentum.

Super quick sketch done on Procreate on my iPhone with my finger, barely had a minute to draw but didn’t want to lose momentum.

After the Mexican Birthday Party

After the Party: Cerveza and Lemon, oil on Gessobord, 7x5"

After the Party: Cerveza and Lemon, oil on Gessobord, 7×5″

My neighbors from Mexico really know how to celebrate birthdays. They prepare by cooking delicious traditional Mexican food for days (including a huge vat of my favorite, birria de chivo) and decorate their yard, filling the patio with tables, chairs and umbrellas like the best cafes.

Beer and Lemon, Ink & Watercolor, 8x5"

Beer and Lemon study for oil painting, Ink & Watercolor, 8×5″

The kids gleefully bounce like human ping-pong balls in a giant inflatable jumper in the front yard while the adults enjoy Cumbias music, dancing and good food in the backyard. I appreciated the chance to practice my Spanish but was relieved to discover that most of their friends are bilingual; when my meager Spanish fails we can still talk.

I thought the little beer bottles were cute so I took mine home to paint.

The oil painting is available here. The study is in my journal.

Leave It! Lemon and Vinegar

Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar

Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar

You know how dog owners shout “Leave it!” when they are about to roll in something stinky or eat garbage off the ground? (the dog, not the owners rolling in it). I’m taking a similar approach with my ink drawings and watercolor sketches.

If the line is wrong, if there’s a typo or the wash comes out funny, I say to myself: “Leave it!” Let it be. Fresh is (almost always) better than Fixed. Mistake is just another word for Interesting.

Do you see what I got wrong in this picture and just left it? (hint–it’s a typo…er… “writeo.”) I showed it to my sketch group and nobody could find it (but maybe it’s because we were in a dark pub?)

This was done for Every Day in May #106: Something sour or tart. I’m loving the extra practice in drawing I’m getting from the EDiM project.

Tea and Lemon, Surface Quality Study #1

Tea and Lemon, Surface Quality Study #1, oil painting on panel 8x10"

Tea and Lemon, Surface Quality Study #1, oil painting on panel 8x10"

This painting is a study based on the exercise in Peggi Kroll-Roberts “Surface Quality” video. I watched the video, then turned it off and painted from my still life set up, trying to incorporate the lesson: paint the darks with thin paint (so that they recede, don’t reflect light that hits lumpy edges, and don’t draw attention to themselves) and paint the light areas with rich, thick paint (and of course mix the correct colors and values).

When Peggi demonstrated this exercise she used a cube of butter (in her still life, not to paint with! though her paint is very buttery). I had to replace the butter with the yellow lemon because while I brewed the tea in the other room, my cat had a little feast, licking my only cube of butter into a misshapen mess.

There are some passages in this painting I like very much, such as the lemon, its leaves and blossom, the tea, and the way the tin in back is kept all in shadow.

I did buy another cube of butter to try the exercise again, and that will post tomorrow while I’m off at Peggi’s workshop.

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