A trio of brussels sprouts.

After learning to draw in 2009 I took my first painting class in 2010. I tried to paint a pair of cabbages for one of my first assignments, and was completely stumped by the intricacies of all the veins. I had no idea how to simplify or render the form to make it look three-dimensional. The painting turned out really flat, and my teacher deemed it “a good underpainting.” At the time I was annoyed since I had no idea how to take it from an underpainting to a real painting, but looking back I realize he was being generous and encouraging. Here, take a gander:

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This little trio of brussels sprouts reminded me of my first cabbage-painting experience. I still had my share of frustrations with these, especially in watercolor. But there are moments of magic in each of them, and they are certainly a long way from where I was just 4 years ago. Pastel left, watercolor upper-right, oil lower-right. Which one is your favorite?

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Next up, a trio of apples!

Previously, in the trio series:
A trio of figs.

A trio of figs.

My most recent adventure in art workshops was a 3 day class on beginning watercolor. It was really inspiring and when I got home I immediately went about forcing my new watercolors into my tiny painting space in my tiny studio. Moving my pastels and oils to the side gave me pause. I don’t want to lose the modest gains I’ve made in oils, or my comfort with pastels. Wanting to do all three at once prompted an idea for a new assignment. And I sure do love assignments. So here it is:

Every Sunday morning, Greg will bring home an interesting fruit or veggie (preferably fruit) from the farmer’s market. Right now those who know me are saying “wait, what?” and to that I say: Yes, we go to the farmer’s market (er, Greg does, because I can’t be counted on to get up in time on Sunday mornings). No, I don’t grow all the produce we eat. And sure, I could draw what I do produce, but I want something new and different and not-from-my-garden sometimes. Moving on.

Sunday morning feels like Christmas now, with a surprise fruit or veggie waiting for me when I get up. Then I have a week to render my present in a small size in pastel, oil, and watercolor. Super fun, yes?


And I had no idea just how much rendering the same object in one medium would help me in another. Here’s my first trio:

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Next up, currently in progress: a trio of brussels sprouts.