Little Baby Flower

14-Little Baby Flower.jpg

Acrylic on canvas; 60 cm x 81 cm

Blog Post 77

Who does not eat watermelons , especially during the summer season? That’s why this is a favorite painting to hang by the dinning table. To paint one for my family, I  bought a big watermelon, cut it up, and took several photos showing several cuts arranged from all angles. This is the first in my coming series of watermelons.

This was the procedure I followed for this big painting:painting a background; sketching the photo on canvas, enlarged, using grids; painting 2-4 layers of the flesh and the skin; painting the finishing touches (shadows to separate the slices); using the palette knife to give texture to the flesh;; and lastly, painting the seeds.

I worked on this watermelon painting for 3 days, painting 2-4 layers of paint on the watermelon flesh, skin, and seeds.  I used Winsor and Newton (Galeria) acrylic paints in tubes (creamy consistency). For the skin, I used the following colors: phthalo green, phthalo green + yellow; phthalo green +Winsor blue,  and titanium white. For the flesh  I used the flooring colors: crimson and crimson + red hue. And for the seeds, I used the following colors: Mars black + Winsor blue and titanium white.

Notice that I did not paint shadows. I just separated the slices from each other through differences in color shades,–that is, cast shadows on each other, not on the environment. So, the effect seems like floating slices of watermelon.

Here are some more painting tips:

For the skin:

  • The first layer of the skin should be very dark green. Then mix a lighter shade (yellow green + a bit of titanium white) to paint the its flowing lines, the characteristic skin feature of the Little Baby Flower variety.
  • Use titanium white to line the cut edges of the skin, Make the edges rough, encroaching into the flesh.

For the flesh:

  • Use the impasto technique to give texture to the flesh. Add a little titanium white to make the flesh glisten and look watery and cool.  The paint mixture should be very thick. You can add gloss to make it thick.
  • Apply the paint with a palette knife roughly, using its edge to scrape some paint and  thicken others.
  • Paint the flesh in light and dark tones of red.

For the seeds

  • Paint the scattered seeds last, at random. Some should be painted whole, others embedded in the flesh. Use titanium white to outline one side of the seeds so as to have an effect that that they are embedded , not just on top of the flesh,
  • Paint the seeds dark, but not black.

This still life subject is easy to paint. Try it, at least once.

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