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Posts tagged “food

Six apples and a sucrine in aquarelle.

In summer we don’t eat apples. We munch on peaches and nectarines. Except the horses. They have their apples throughout the year. An apple is one of the most delicious subjects to draw and paint. For the experts it is a challenge to capture its real beauty and succulent appearance and for the beginner it is easy enough to start off with and be inspired to keep going.

…six apples…

pen and aquarelle on watercolor block

apples en aqua

..six apples close-up..

apples en aqua close up 3230x2669

Just for some lazy fun, I splashed some greens for a sucrine salad…using blues and yellows, purple and payes gray for darker shadows. Salad is always difficult to draw and paint, so many lines and squigles…definitely not a favorute subkect of mine. The greens are a great challenge though!

..sucrine salad..

pen and aquarelle on waterclor block

sucrine en aqua 3

..sucrine salad close-up..

sucrine en aqua 3 close-up 3452x3102

Espelette chillies in charcoal and sanguine.

Without planning it, these experiments have turned into a series. As it is raining constantly outside, I have to dine my subjects inside. I started off with clementines(see post here) and today I grabbed the bunch of dried Espelette chillies hanging next to the stove.

…Espelette chillies in charcoal and sanguine, 50x 65cm…

piment d'espelettes 2358x3075-001

I started off in light vine charcoal, rubbed over slightly  with my hand to erase most of the lines and then went in with the sanguine. piment d'espelettes 2917x3641

The completed drawing. Using white conté stick, I added the last highlights/ details.

piment d'espelettes 3097x4400

…Close- up 1…

piment d'espelettes 3219x3313

…close-up 2…piment d'espelettes 4164x2955

Radishes in charcoal and watercolor

Continuing my experimentation with large formats, different mediums and free strokes. Still sticking with charcoal, which is an unforgiving medium, but exactly that fact gives me the freedom to “play” freely. You can”t start over every time you make a mistake; so you  are forced  to work with the mistakes, which can either lead to great discoveries, or total mess ups  – not to be seen as a bad thing. I also prefer working with the dark charcoal, and one can see in the images below the really dark black it gives. I don’t use fixatives.. I have the impression it doesn’t work in any case..

…radishes in charcoal, watercolor and watercolor pencils, 42x60cm..

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3251x3976

I chose radishes, cut off most of the leaves  to expose mostly the stems, thew them out on the table and chose a composition with only a few radishes.

..the start – in charcoal lines and watercolor washes, using lot of water and allowing it to run…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3232x4683

After finishing, I stood back and the watercolor looked too washed out against the dark charcoal, so I added watercolor pencil, washed it to blend and give darker color, and here and there I left some pencil marks to echo the charcoal lines.

…radishes – close up 1..

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 4928x3264-001

Far from being a perfect piece and it won’t end up in an exhibition, this was another good exercise in getting rid of “fear”.

….radishes – close up 2…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 4928x3264

…radishes – close up 3…

Radishes in watercolor and charcoal 3264x4928

Onto some some more work!!!

à bientôt


Clementines in charcoal.

Thankfully there is always an end to yesterday. And to whining. Once I got tired of my own whining about this not working and that not good enough(see the previous post), I had the clarity to see that the only way to change what I don’t like in my art, is to work at it.

..Clementines in charcoal on paper, 43X60cm..

Clementines in charcoal 3116x4317

So here is what I went for:

  1. I worked only charcoal and white conté sticks.
  2. Large format. I will go bigger still, bit for the time being 43x60cm is plenty.
  3. I put the drawing on my easel and work with the whole arm and not the wrist, standing back often to get distance.
  4. No details.
  5. Large and free strokes.
  6. No erasing.
  7. No planning ahead, trusting impulse.
  8. Still worked from life..whatever is around, but no photos.
  9. No direct copying, put marks and lines as I felt and wanted, whether it is correct or not.
  10. Stopped early enough, while I still had the urge to continue.

 I enjoyed this process todayeven though it still has my typical mark making, I feel happy about it. Will continue experimenting.

The paper is bending on the easel as I didn’t add a big enough support behind it, so the colour and focus are not perfect all over the paper.

Clementines in charcoal 2672x3629

Some close ups  below to see the marks and smudges.

Close up 1

Clementines in charcoal 4928x3264

Some of the close-ups actuall make for nice pieces on their own..so the piece of work can be torn or cut into sections and reworked..maybe collaged as part of another work…?

Close up 2

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928-002

Close up 3

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928-001

Close up 4

Clementines in charcoal 3264x4928

Stay tuned for loads of work in the next few weeks..and if you feel like joining in..please do so.

à bientôt


Peaches in watercolor

Yay..I’m back to plein air painting after a dry spell of two years…..The oil paintings are busy drying, while outside the thunder is rolling and the rain is showering down, bringing welcome relief to a dry garden. The days are wonderfully hot, hot, hot…I love every sweaty minute! Believe it or not, it is in this sweltering heat that I decided to move out to plein air again with my palette and oils. Summer works for me. In the meantime, some peaches  in watercolor, done with some big round yellow peaches and juicy flat white ones..which are all devoured by now and the cause of some tummy ache…Summer and its fruit does that to me too..

..trois pêches plates.

watercolor and pen on aquarelle block, 18X26cm

trois pêches plates 23-07-2013 19-01-24 6117x4175

..trois pêches jaunes..

watercolor and pen on aquarelle block, 18X26cm

trois pêches jaunes 23-07-2013 19-34-34 6076x4122

Two..or maybe three eggs in watercolor.

Eggs. Easy to draw. Difficult to paint. but satisfying, because one can play around a lot with painting eggs..or the suggestion of eggs. Sometimes it works.  Sometimes not.

..three eggs 1..

in watercolour and pen on Fabriano watercolour block, HP, 23×30,5cm

..three eggs 2..

in watercolour and pen onArches watercolour block,CP, 18x26cm

..three eggs 3..

in watercolour and pen on Fabriano watercolour block, HP, 23×30,5cm

If all else fails, try vegetables

I’ve seen a few people on EDM struggling with being in a slump. I guess it is my turn. I can’t seem to get a hold on inspiration.
There is a whole wide world out there to paint, to draw and I can’t find anything. I have the pencil and brush in my hand, like a knife and fork, waiting for the perfect meal to come from the kitchen. Unfortunately I am the “cook” in the kitchen….so I literally took my pencil and brush to the kitchen and tried to cook up something…I painted the first things my eyes fell on. Just earlier today I bought fresh produce which were on the table and so here are my carrots and aubergines…interestingly, the striped one is called a Graffiti. I struggled through 6 sketches, going from bad to worse. So I threw away the rest and kept the first attempts.
Both these sketches were done in WC on Fabriano HP.



alteredtome said…
I just love your painterly style! So direct and fresh.
June 27, 2007 5:39 PM  
Betty said…
aahhhhhhh! I am very envious of your slump :-) This is so lovely, as always.
June 27, 2007 5:46 PM  
hfm said…
And they are so fresh and natural!
June 27, 2007 6:36 PM  
martín said…
Wow! These are so well done. The combination of colours and the touches with the brush on the paper. Two masterpieces!
June 27, 2007 6:41 PM  
mARTa said…
Ronell my favorite is the second one. Upon close inspection (hehehe)I have found numerous ‘jewels’ in this lively watercolor. I have several ‘favorite’ areas…the white veggie has lovely colour in it and a great blend of hard and soft edges. The contrast between the deep purple and blue is electrifying and the splashes of colour in the shadow areas keep the watercolor from vibrating too much. This is by far a most successful painting and the slump is offically over. have a great kitchen and painting day!!!
June 27, 2007 6:41 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
These are just beautiful!
June 27, 2007 7:03 PM  
juj said…
I never get tired of your style Ronell. LOVE those carrots.
June 27, 2007 7:29 PM  
Robyn said…
What Marta said followed by what Casey said. And I bet you cooked them as beautifully as you painted them!
June 27, 2007 7:48 PM  
Lin said…
June 27, 2007 8:22 PM  
brian nelson said…
Very nice, indeed!
June 27, 2007 10:40 PM  
Dave said…
Wonderful; I love to see watercolours that look like watercolours! They are both lovely, the carrots are very striking, and the second one has some great touches, like the purple reflection in the blue one.
June 27, 2007 11:45 PM  
mARTa said…
Now my critic of the carrots. I do think this one was successful as well but i have one area that bothers me. The dark shadow under the leaves just stares at me. I think I am entranced by the subtle colour in the other shadow areas but don’t see any here. The variation of the red/orange color of the carrots has my eyes traveling and so it carries me throughout the sketch. Both of these are successful also in that you’ve allowed the colors to mix themselves on the paper and for me that is always so hard to do!
June 28, 2007 12:57 AM  
Teri C said…
These look good enough to eat. Except they are too beautifully colored-so fresh and bright.
June 28, 2007 1:41 AM  
Deborah said…
Ohhhh, these make me want to eat some veggies. Beautiful!
June 28, 2007 2:19 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for all the comments..I appreciate them.
Yes Marta, you’re spot on with the carrots. My shading is not at all successfull…under the leaves it looks like something standing on it’s own and it really does hurt the eye. I also threw in unnecessary shadings under the tips of the carrots, which does the same thing…and that v-shaped shadow which is supposed to follow the little tie around the carrots.. This is of course due to my uncontrollable habit of not leaving things alone! I had finished and then I thought I could maybe have them look a bit better and so the fiddling started! Thank you for noticing it and saying it…I really appreciate it….without positive critique I can’t grow!!
June 28, 2007 8:26 AM  
biteyourowntail said…
Lush aubergines Ronell – I’m in love with those colours.I actually like to draw and paint veg – they’re such satisfying shapes – not to mention colours.
June 28, 2007 10:46 AM  
Carole said…
Well done for clambering out of your slump and painting. I love both of these.Rather than throw away the ones you are less happy with, you could cut out the bits that do work (there are usually bits that do) and collage them, just for fun.
June 28, 2007 11:38 AM  
Regula Scheifele said…
Slump? – if you say so… though the paintings surely don’t show it.
I love the second one, the colour of the aubergines is perfect (I’ve tried painting aubergines as well, didn’t really get the colour the way I wanted it….).
June 28, 2007 12:02 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Ronell I couldn’t agre more. These are brilliant brilliant brilliant.
June 28, 2007 1:57 PM  
Lindsay said…
Ronell, I’ve been there! Slumps can feel really aweful. The last time I was in one, I took myself on a date to and did some really relaxing and beautiful things. Sometimes, all you need are a few naps and a couple of low pressure outings for just yourself.
The carots are lovely!Take good care!
June 28, 2007 3:20 PM  
Cathy (Kate) Johnson said…
Gorgeous, Ronell! I love the fresh, splashy look…
June 28, 2007 3:54 PM  
Irene said…
Very nice. Fresh and watery (is that a word?)
June 28, 2007 4:18 PM  
Sandy said…
Oh My God, there is nothing left to say – I love every bit of them!!! I may hate you ;-)
June 28, 2007 4:50 PM  
Sandy said…
I like both of the pictures. So glad you updated. I come here almost every day just waiting, LOL..silently waiting…these are gorgeous Ronell.sandy
June 28, 2007 9:27 PM  
Emma Pod said…
Hi Ronell, these are beautiful vegetables! Great colors. I also like your frog from an earlier post!
June 28, 2007 9:49 PM  
Linda said…
bsolutely gorgeous! The carrots, especially, are just so ALIVE.
June 29, 2007 1:30 AM  
good with color said…
“sigh”Your paintings are so beautiful, it makes me feel happy and relaxed to look at them. especially those eggplants. I bought some today, to make ratatouille (sp?) but yours are so much nicer! Bunnies everywhere are longing for your carrots, I’ll bet.
June 29, 2007 6:57 AM  
laserone said…
Hey, that’s really good work for somebody who is uninspired! I especially love the aubergines, I just love blues and purples. :)
June 29, 2007 7:07 AM  
Africantapestry said…
Thanks for the comments, they are all so inspiring.
I alos found Diahn’s article on Wet canvas, very inspiring – makes me want to just get back into doing “small things”, but things that give pleasure. See Diahn at http://artbydiahn.blogspot.com/
Thanks again to everybody.
June 29, 2007 9:14 AM  
platitudinal said…
Ronell, I love how you described holding the pencil and the brush in your hands like eating utensils, and you were waiting for the “perfect meal.”The vegetables looked so beautiful. I love the carrots (even though I don’t really like eating carrots). The orange and the yellow compliment each other so nicely, they’re such a delight to the eyes.
June 29, 2007 11:55 AM  
Claudia said…
W o n d e r f u l colours, Ronell! Keep up the good work! I always love to see more of it!
…And thank you for your nice words “whatever you chose to do, do it to the fullest!”
Kind regards from
June 29, 2007 8:09 PM  
Tonniece said…
I enjoy your art so much Ronell, whether in a slump or in perfect form, you always get it right.
June 29, 2007 8:26 PM  
Laureline said…
Wow!!!!!!!!Just amazingly gorgeous, Ronell!!! They’re so loose and colorful and watery—PERFECT!!
June 29, 2007 8:45 PM  
Anita said…
Ronell you turn everything into an uplifting rainbow, these are beautiful!!!
July 1, 2007 2:15 AM  
Sandy said…
just waving hello…looking for updates..no pressure…but looking for updates..LOL…gosh everytime I come here I get inspired…I love your stuff. By the way you have great links too…
July 1, 2007 6:26 PM  
Pequete said…
Well, if this is a slump… I just wish I had some of these myself! Both sketches are lovely, but I especially like the carrots one, so painterly and light.
July 2, 2007 11:32 AM  
wagonized said…
What a great approach. When i hit a drawing funk, even my favorite subjects are uninviting — that’s probably because i am less willing to “surprise” myself. These are gorgeous — just what you managed to do by pushing yourself into the kitchen is amazing. And i love the fact you chose to juxtapose the orange of the carrots with the purple underneath. Excellent.
July 5, 2007 8:23 PM  
phthaloblu said…
These are great sketches. Sorry to hear about your slump. Just keep ‘doing’ and hopefully you won’t be slumping for long. Your work is beautiful and so loose and I love looking at it. Good thought for you!
July 7, 2007 9:36 PM  
Bill said…
hy an I always hungry after visiting your blog?Beautiful!
July 15, 2007 9:14 PM  
CrumpledPaperbirds said…
These are gorgeous!!!
Lovely colors, and love the two pics next to each other…food for eyes.
July 16, 2007 1:50 PM  

Bon voyage to Casey!

Bon voyage to Casey.! May she have fun in Hong Kong, may they be kept safe and may she come back with great sketches!


Lin said…
May 18, 2007 5:17 PM  
Teri C said…
Wonderful tribute to Casey. What a good friend you are. Great bowl!!
May 18, 2007 7:16 PM  
platitudinal said…
Love the bowl and the chopsticks to illustrate the trip to the Orient.
May 18, 2007 9:13 PM  
bec said…
Oooh Hong Kong… I’ve never been there. It will be interesting to see Casey’s sketches. I like the colors and subject of your painting !
May 19, 2007 3:32 AM  
caseytoussaint said…
Wow – thanks Ronell! I’m not sure I’ll be able to reach this standard, but I’ll do my best.
May 19, 2007 10:17 AM  
Robyn said…
Such a pretty bowl! Reminds me how much I miss Chinese food. I lived in HK for a couple of years so really envy Casey.
May 19, 2007 2:26 PM  
Claudia said…
The sketch looks so real!!Well done!
May 19, 2007 8:13 PM  
mARTa said…
love chinese food! I have a bowl similar to your although I prefer to eat out! Love your wc sketch! I must try hot press paper!
May 20, 2007 4:17 AM  
Brenda Y said…
What a clever idea to paint a chinese bowl and chopsticks!! I LOVE it!!! And oh yes, we will look forward to seeing what Casey brings back.
May 20, 2007 5:50 AM  
Anna said…
Beautiful colors!
May 22, 2007 11:28 PM  
Ben said…
what a sweet thing to do…and its lovely…
May 23, 2007 2:36 AM  
Fanta said…
What a wonderful job. The perfect colur combination , perfectly balanced. It’s such a warm painting.
And yes, I also hope Casey will surprise us with lots of stuff. I bet she is sketching right now as I type. I really can’t wait!
May 23, 2007 9:44 PM  
wagonized said…
Holy crap. I love how you handled the colors.
May 24, 2007 3:17 AM  
laserone said…
omg i JUST love this. The colors are GORGEOUS. I have an almost identical bowl, but without the design on the bottom. Wow, this is really nice. :)
May 30, 2007 6:08 AM  
Serena said…
Fabulous work, Ronell! I gave an oriental bowl and chopstick set to my daughter last year…same colours too. LOVE this!
May 31, 2007 12:28 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Absolutely STUNNING.

Three apples and the rest

Voila my painting of the week – a bowl with fruit.

It took 3 apples to get to the “right” half eaten one.
The first one was so crunchy and sweet and just too delicious, I ate the whole thing. That made me full. I then asked Hartman to eat the second one with specific orders…he just gave 3 huge gulps and only the stem was left…a little bit of deliberation there. There was only one left, so I had to eat the third apple carefully, measuring it against the other three after each bite. And then we went to play tennis. When I got back, the apple turned all brown. I had no apples left. So I played guessing game on the color.

The bowl is made by the artist Carrol Boyes from SA. Using pewter and other materials she makes beautiful bowls and cutlery and office stuff and…and…. to see
her work, which can also be ordered online – www.carrolboyes.com

I love expressionism. I find I can achieve that in oil, a little more challenging in watercolor though. I have a fear of losing the transparency of watercolor….but I think this one isn’t that far off?


Brenda Y said…
Oh, this is marvelous! Definitely you’ve kept the transparency. Gorgeous lights and luscious shadows and a very lovely palette – I like the one green apple, really adds a punch to the trio in the dish. The dish. . . just gorgeous, it absolutely looks like pewter!!
April 21, 2007 7:52 PM  
SCquiltaddict said…
Oh goodness this one is lovely…such a great wc….
April 21, 2007 8:51 PM  
Carole said…
I love what you do with watercolour paint! This is a lovely composition (great bowl!) and the colours simply sing from the page. I like the loose shadow and background, and the way you’ve got the detail of the eaten apple. It’s just so funny that the pair of you nearly ate the still life before you could paint it!
April 21, 2007 9:34 PM  
Felicity said…
Just fabulous! So lovely and loose and those lights just make it zing!
April 21, 2007 9:39 PM  
Teri C said…
Wow, these are wonderful! The colors, reflections and the compostion. I laughed when I read your dilemna of eating all the apples and no wonder, they look so good.
April 21, 2007 10:07 PM  
Fanta said…
Simply stunning, Ronell!
April 21, 2007 10:21 PM  
why said…
i like this one a lot too… the colors, the reflections and the shadows.. great work!
April 22, 2007 12:09 AM  
Lin said…
Ronell — you have such an easy going, painterly gorgeous style — I LOVE IT — and these fruits are delicious looking and spectacular!
April 22, 2007 12:22 AM  
mARTa said…
What beautiful colors, reflections…the apples look so juicy! lovely!
April 22, 2007 1:52 AM  
janeysjournal@aol.com said…
What a lovely little painting. Those highlights just sparkle.
April 22, 2007 3:54 AM  
aPugsLife-laserone said…
Fantastic! I love that there’s an eaten apple in there. :)
April 22, 2007 4:21 AM  
martín said…
Ronell, this is just beautiful! i do love this work!!!! greetings.
April 22, 2007 4:52 AM  
Karen said…
very well done Ronell
April 22, 2007 8:23 AM  
Tonniece said…
Hi Ronell
Thought I’d come out of the woodwork.
I love this piece and the great story behind it also. Great blog here, I visit often.
Thanks for visiting mine and for the nice comment on my.
April 22, 2007 1:11 PM  
Linda said…
GREAT piece! It’s just too bad that you had to go through all that trauma of eating apples to get to this point, but we must suffer at times for our work, mustn’t we?! ;-) The colors are marvellous — very transparent and with juicy brushstrokes. This is a keeper!
April 22, 2007 2:28 PM  
E-J said…
What an unusual bowl! There’s a wonderful fresh, transparent look to this. And I think the half-eaten apple’s the best part :-)
April 22, 2007 3:24 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for taking the time to look and comment…I appreciate it!
April 22, 2007 4:28 PM  
caseytoussaint said…
Ronell, I’m so far behind! My preview button kept showing the same old post – now I know notto trust it! Lovely job on this, it really just glows. This is the effect I keep trying to get – and you do it so effortlessly.
April 23, 2007 10:57 AM  
Robyn Sinclair said…
Luscious, loose and very much back to your old form I see. Just gorgeous! I’ve missed a whole lot of posts too!
April 23, 2007 11:22 AM  
Christeen said…
You are, aparently, a master of the color guessing game- this is a delightful painting :)
April 23, 2007 5:10 PM  
phthaloblu said…
Sacrificing the body, or in this case the stomach, for your art. Well done!
April 24, 2007 3:17 PM  
platitudinal said…
“It took 3 apples to get to the ‘right’ half eaten one” — Shucks, Ronell, I think I need to start drawing something that I can eat too. Hmm … should I start with subject like a half eaten cake? I wonder how many pieces I need to eat before I get the perfect half eaten look. (Sigh) Things that we must do for art’s sake!“Have to guess the colors.” Wow, they look really good, Ronell! Those apples, and the perfectly half eaten one, look so luscious and delicious!

Sprout – Ill. Fr.


I chose the Brussel sprout, but now it looks more like a broccoli to me. Well, they’re both green and healthy….

Watercolor on paper




Nina Johansson said…
Hi, welcome to the EDM! Love your drawings and paintings, they are great! Hope to see more of your work in the future!
February 7, 2007 6:41 PM  
Casey said…
Ronell, this is absolutely stunning! I love all the work you’ve posted here, but this is my favorite.
February 7, 2007 7:24 PM  
Kunya said…
Hello, welcome to EDM. Lovely watercolors.
February 7, 2007 9:15 PM  
Christeen said…
HIya, welcome to EDM- I really like your paintings, and this sprout is my favorite :) Hope to see more!
February 7, 2007 10:35 PM  
Africantapestry said…
Thank you for your warm welcome and the kind comments;I feel like it’s Christmas and I’m receiving one great gift after another!
February 7, 2007 11:01 PM  
andrea joseph’s sketchblog said…
Wow this is such a great drawing. love the composition. The fork is just great. Fabulous and welcome! I look forward to seeing more.
February 8, 2007 12:19 AM  
Sandy said…
I’m so glad I found your blog..I am loving ALL your art work.. sandy


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