Last Friday and Saturday I had a workshop called Fruit and Veg ; or Strawberries and cream. It is a very popular workshop has happened for several years running. I don’t know if it is the Strawberries and cream that tempts, or the painting. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account that it was a bank holiday weekend this year, but those who signed up were pleased to have more of my attention..
One student was working on vellum and decided to paint a short branch from our Malus ‘Royal Beauty’ crab apple tree. It has very dark berries and I thought the best way to demonstrate was by doing one of the berries myself. Of course doing it properly also takes time, so as soon as the workshop was finished the first day I went down into the shed and started the berry so that I could demonstrate on it the following day. That was one long day!
But it was a useful exercise and the student got a clearer understanding of how to get depth and darker colours on vellum without laying it in thick layers.
The other students unusually all worked with watercolour this time.
I finished off my Royal Beauty crab apple later on.
My 5 x 7 inch picture of a Blackberry branch on Kelmscott vellum is progressing in-between teaching and demos.
My last blog finished off when I had completed the bottom-most berries on my branch; you could see a ripe blackberry under the stem. In this blog I will show you the layers needed for the berries on the left of the stem. The nearest one is almost fully ripe as you can see by the residual redness of the drupelets. Then there are two more fully ripe ones behind this; I therefore have to take this into consideration when choosing my colours. The slideshow of photos taken at regular intervals is at the bottom of this page.
I promised a picture of my art table as it was in my last blog, but bear in mind that since the very hot weather my subject is deteriorating quite fast.
In this picture the sprig is still fairly OK giving me an idea of the colours of the berries, although I have to get fresh samples to paint from; as you can see, these are scattered on the surface beside me.
Finally and unusually, I have two vacancies in my weekly botanical art class in Bosham. It is Wednesday mornings between 10:00-12:00, starting up again Wednesday 4th September. Get in touch using the contact form below if you want to know more about it or sign up. Before you ask, it is for watercolour and colour pencil artists, including those who want to learn. The class is kept even smaller than the workshops so everyone can develop at their own speed.