I started a new painting this week! I love how this one turned out! Watch my steps to get inspired.
Grapefruit Splash Prep Work: Starting with the photo, below right, I applied gesso over an old painting on plexiglass. While the gesso was still wet, I pulled a plaster tool through it to form grid-like patterns on the painting surface. Vertical and horizontal lines add contrast to the organic shapes of the fruit, as well as texture and structure to an otherwise organic/spherical composition.
Once the composition was drawn in, the fun began. Crazy painter alert!! Watercolors were flying everywhere! I have to remember not to wear my “good” clothes when I do this.
Here is the first wash, using the big watercolor brush you see in the photo, which keeps me loose. The composition sings in this, with the focal point in the lower LH third of the painting. I’ve chosen a contrasting color theme of purple and yellow. My thought here was to paint a high-value painting, with the deep dark purple in the upper LH side providing a stark contrast to the yellow grapefruit and push the lights to seem even brighter.
I LOVE the cut-open grapefruit sections! As I painted, I noticed my whites needed to be brighter. With watercolor paper, it can be difficult to retrieve whites once they are gone. On a gessoed surface, I can either wet the paint and remove it with a damp cloth, or, as in this case, paint over it with watercolor ground or gesso:
This gave my white patches on my grapefruit a clear, bright white. I also brightened up my sign in the same manner. After it dried, I sanded the edges slightly and went on painting, carefully avoiding the white patches.
Since the focal point is the cut section of grapefruit, I paid special attention to it’s detail, making sure the brightest colors, whitest whites, and most convincing attributes were here.
Final product. This painting was so much fun that I couldn’t leave it alone until I finished. Well, sort-of. A week passed from start to finish, with work, family time, laundry, and the inevitable dirty floors. Does this painting inspire you to get the paint out?