Workshop PROJECT: Blood oranges and...toilets...

I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop. I learned a few things about my strengths and weaknesses as a painter and illustrator. I'm still too much of a beginner to have a personal style, but I think knowing my likes and dislikes and strengths, I'm working my way towards a better understanding. 

The five project prompts I chose:

1. I chose to draw and paint a blood orange in different ways. My first attempt was a line drawing using Sakura pens.


I then filled in the line drawing with watercolor paint. I did a second painting without doing a line drawing first. I had to leave the second painting for a while, not sure if I was going to go over it with a black line drawing or not.  




I completed the first painting with ink and white gel pen details. I had a harder time with the second painting, not sure how to make it look "complete". It's hard to tell from the picture, but I did a better job of making textured lines with darker paint on one half of the orange. I learned that it is easier for me to create details with ink pen than to complete a picture all using paint. 




I then put away my blood orange reference so I wouldn't be distracted, and I thought about the oranges in its general shapes. Like the vase exercise, I created these colorful combinations, and as I went I simplified the shapes more.



 I finished the oranges with white gel pen and black ink pen details. I wasn't sure about these colors at first, but when I came back to look at them again days later, i liked most of the color combinations. The black and blue one particularly stands out for me. I also like the red and orange one, which I almost didn't do. It was an afterthought, which goes to show that we should really try as many combinations as possible.


Finally, I did two more variations of the blood oranges. One using a water soluble pen to draw the orange first then fill in with water color. It takes away the vibrant colors of the blood orange, but creates a nice moody sketch. A good technique for something else maybe. I wasn't sure if I created 12 versions, so I really stretched to create one last one with first a light wash.


I really wasn't sure what to do with it, and looking back at my floral explorations, I decided to pull out some colorful fine-line pens to try something different. I really liked this outcome. I haven't learned to create muted/ more pastel colors with my water colors, and I liked how these lines came out.



2. Disassemble and reassemble something familiar: My youngest just successfully finished potty training, so this was on my mind. 


I really enjoyed looking up different toilets and trying to draw them! Having them all on one page, I'm inspired to come back and make this into some kind of pattern or poster. I just love how quirky it is, so I thought I'd try the color combinations on these. There are so many parts that I could really have some fun with color.


I did not like how these color combinations came out. It was so fun and simple and now looked a little crazy. 

So I tried another way:



I noticed that the colorful pens are water soluble, so that's fun. I'm not giving up though. I think these toilets can really turn into something.


3. A texture dance



4. 25 different lines: This was a great exercise. When I was painting the pots, I was running out of pattern ideas. I can see how creating different types of lines and textures can help with that.



5. Finding a color combination that pops. In experimenting with color, I noticed that I stick with the paint colors I already have, not doing much mixing. The colors tend to be vibrant. There is some disconnect between what I create and my mood board from the first part of the workshop. What I like tend to be stark blacks and pops of color. When I'm painting especially the vases and kids, I liked lots of vibrant color. I do tend to stay away from earth tones. I like the outcome of my realistic blood oranges, but what prompted me to create the colorful ones was because I thought my painting didn't do justice to the vibrant colors that I really saw in the blood oranges. Anyway, this just lets me know that I still need more experience with color.

I tried one more color combining exercise:



I learned that I love the Payne's Gray on the blue flower and purple/pink flower stems. So this is probably a good jumping off point, finding colors that go well with this gray.

So that's it! Thanks for a great workshop!





This is my first time doing something like this. Some came out better than others, and some vases that I didn't like at first looked better after adding on the details.



After doing the vases I was inspired to try something else. I like creating characters and drawing comics about my kids. They are also an inspiration for unexpected color and pattern mixing. I first painted the tops using three different brushes to get different results. 



I then added the pants and some white details. On some of the clothes, I needed to get the black outline on first to get a better idea of what the outfit will look like.



Finally, the faces and hair emerged. It was interesting to see how the first painted shapes dictated the pose for each character. 



Please sign in or sign up to comment.