An Artistic Journey


Gesso prep for Grapefruit Splash

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.

Grapefruit Splash First Wash

Grapefruit Splash First Wash

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.

Grapefruit Splash Second Wash

Grapefruit Splash Second Wash

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:

Applying gesso over the areas I want to be bright white

Applying gesso over the areas I want to be bright white

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.

Concentrating on the focal point, I added detail to the grapefruit sections.

Concentrating on the focal point, I added detail to the grapefruit sections.

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.

This close-up shows the detail and structure the gesso grids provide to the painting.

This close-up  illustrates the detail and structure the gesso grids provide the painting.

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?

Finished! Grapefruit Splash. Watercolor on Plexiglass. 21x31

Finished! Grapefruit Splash. Watercolor on Plexiglass. 21×31

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Grapefruit Splash”

  1. christinapertz1

    Wow, absolutely beautiful! Saw your post in Community Pool. I am always looking for new (to me) artists to follow and be inspired by!

    I have just started with watercolors on paper myself. My whole life I have only ever used acrylics, so this is quite the adjustment to me! But I can’t help but love the look of watercolors!

    Like

    Reply
    • sbhansen2014

      Hi Christinapertz1, this is what I’ve been hoping for in starting a blog! Connecting with others across all types of creative thinking. So, you are starting watercolors? Pretty different than acrylic, as I’m sure you’ve found out. I’ve tried acrylic and found it very difficult. I gave up quickly, but I think you will enjoy the differences in watercolor. Ask me anything and don’t be worried to send me a photo of your work. Thanks for following me! Looking forward to seeing more of your artwork!:)

      Like

      Reply
      • christinapertz1

        So different! I follow another blog, Grow Creative, and she did a How to Watercolor series that really sparked my interest. Of course, I don’t have watercolor paints, I am using watercolor pencils and Faber-Castell gelatos. I’ve had the pencils for years and never realized what they were until I spilled water on a drawing. Then I got the gelatos on clearance at a craft store and just love messing with how the water moves and pools and the colors change with each layer.

        I’m pretty busy for the next 2 weeks (its finals time at school), but soon after I want to get back to painting more often and posting my artwork to my blog. Can’t wait to have your opinion!
        ~Chris

        Like

      • sbhansen2014

        That’s funny about the spilled water. Not sure what gelatos are. I don’t think I’ve ever used them. Watercolor crayons? Sort of? Good luck with finals. Let me know when you get your crazy on with watercolors ;).

        Like

  2. Inese Poga Art Gallery

    Your paintings are very interesting, this is an amazing technique, and they come out bright and impressive. Unfortunately with so many classes on the go plus my medical writing work, I can never get an entire week for a painting, so I have to take shortcuts whenever possible. I don’t need images or even photos (I have to use them for landscape painting classes, though) because I’m good at drawing and once I have a quick sketch, I will remember the rest.
    It’s great you are helping others to find their way to creation through your adorable artworks.

    Like

    Reply
    • sbhansen2014

      That’s amazing. I always get super-stuck if I have nothing to look at, like a photo or something real in front of me. Doodling? Sure, all day long, but if I’m trying to make something look real from my imagination? Can’t do it! Great job taking opportunities to paint when your schedule is so full!

      Like

      Reply

Profound thoughts? Not so profound? I'd love to hear it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: