We are asked to assemble a group of natural objects, choosing simple forms rather than complex ones, one or two objects. Due to lockdown, we had not done a grocery shop for a while and our stocks of fresh fruits and vegetables was low. I did a few tonal studies from a couple of motley overripe apples we had laying about.
I looked at a spray of flowers that were all that remained of my mother’s day arrangement and did a quick sketch of those that I’d placed on a saucer. I liked the idea of this but the medium I chose to do the tonal sketch (Pitt brush pen and water brush) proved difficult to get the detail down correctly and I got a bit frustrated with it.
Next I found some limpet shells that we had in the bathroom and thought they might work but again found them difficult to draw with the brush pen.
I did a tone study of bell peppers from a web-obtained picture.
Eventually after we’d purchased some supplies, I decided to try and arrangement of choc-nut donuts and a mandarin orange, as I liked the difference in the textures of the foods, as well as the colours. I did a few composition ideas in my sketchbook.
Eventually I decided to look at a zoomed in view, focusing mainly on the texture of the orange. I was going to look at oils but decided after doing a light pencil sketch on mixed media paper (again slightly larger than A4) that watercolour may be the better medium to use, as I knew I would have to do a lot of layering of colours to get the depth of tones in the orange.
I used a portable set of pan watercolours for this little painting. Blending most of the colours to get various shades of rich purple/blue for the shadow beneath the donuts and a variegated wash of this purple/blue in the shadow around the orange on the white plate. I used many different washes to build up the orange, including a brown made from purple and yellow. I dotted a couple of tiny pricks of white as highlights on the donuts and orange. The orange does tend to appear as if it’s floating on the plate, I think this is an unusual optical effect.