Liz Donovan

Demonstration -- Strawberries

I placed these strawberries on an eyelet cloth because I liked the way the dotted eyelet pattern seemed to repeat the dotted highlights on the strawberries. One strawberry was cut open for texture contrast and so I could dribble juice down the front of the cloth. Little messy, unexpected touches make paintings so much more interesting.

1. Paint Background, Save Highlights

A gray-green background and a pale modified Cobalt Blue wash on the cloth set up the white highlights on the strawberries as the lightest value. Save the eyelet pattern and the highlights on the strawberries with frisket.

2. Paint Strawberries, Shadows on Cloth

Notice there is a pattern to the strawberry seeds. Try to paint around them as you build up layers of Cadmium Red, with Alizarin Crimson in the darker areas and orange toward the light.

3. Paint Dark Values and Shadows

Think of the strawberries' rounded shapes, the bright, saturated red at the top surrounding the white highlights, the darker value through the middle and the reflected light from the tablecloth near the bottom. The darkest value is in the crease where the strawberry meets the table. Remove the frisket.

4. Refine Details

Use shadows to fade and blend the eyelet design. Finish the leaves. Shape the highlights. Finally, dribble a little strawberry juice down the front of the cloth.

Copyright © 1997-2009 Liz Donovan

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