Saturday, January 23, 2010

Last night's catch

I think I'm obsessed... but I can't decide whether or not it's an obsession about cooking and food, or about painting and drawing.

Last night, the beginning of a long weekend, I raced through dinner and sat down to paint, as I do most nights now. I'd been idly flicking through a Cucina Italiana magazine issue we picked up last year in Canada, and I came across these beauties, which I wanted to paint. Or cook. And eat!

Sardines (click to enlarge - the image, not the dinner!)

First attempt was somewhat tentative, but I was startled to see that it was working. What astounded me about the photo was the incredible colours of the scales. I could see shiny patches of rusty-red gold, some emerald green, and along the bellies of the fish, perfect bright blue like the colour of the sky. (Is that because when you're a big fat tuna looking up, they will be camouflaged? Maybe that's a bit simplistic.)

This morning I added some washes of ink and some fine pen-and-ink cross hatching. I do prefer India Ink to lamp-black watercolour, for the greys and blacks. It's lovely. I'm quite pleased with the delicate look the pen-and-ink scratchy lines add to the watercolour. It looked a little wishy-washy before.

After the first attempt was frying - no, drying -- on the side, James suggested I try again by masking out some of the sparkly white highlights of the scales and then just go for it with a black wet brush and lots of water.

This is the second try.
It feels a little unfinished. I might add some pen lines today -- or maybe some wet fine lines with a very thin paintbrush, to keep it loose.

This one's definitely more impressionistic.

So that's last night's catch. No, well actually, there was another painting, but that's coming in another post (hee hee).

Today it's gone cooler and grey, a respite after yesterday's stifling muggy heat. I think I'll paint a stew!

1 comment:

eileenr said...

looks great and good enough to eat!