When Ewer a Red Grapefruit

Artwork - a ewer and a red grapefruitToday’s sketch may give the impression that I didn’t really know what I was doing. This would be for the simple reason that I didn’t. The subject matter of the artwork is a still life featuring a (an?) ewer (a.k.a. Mr Water Jug), accompanied on this occasion by a red grapefruit, which I thought was an orange until I saw its’ little sticker.

I decided to have a bash at depicting this still life in gouache in a lovely new Daler Rowney A4 watercolour pad. I chose a high viewpoint that showed off the curves of the ewer, which meant awkwardly standing over the table to complete the painting. There was probably an easier way of doing it, but I didn’t want to faff around.

I started off by quickly sketching out the drawing in B7 pencil, following which I mapped in some shadows and local colour in paint. After some time working with the gouache, I felt the art looked a little overworked. I therefore added some pastel to inject some fresher, less-muddied colour. Finally, I added a touch of black ink with a calligraphic pen in a vaguely John Piper-inspired moment.

I used to do the odd painting like this when I was a student at Falmouth School of Art. Whether it’s a good or bad thing that I have ended up with a piece of art today that looks like something I might have done 20 years ago I’m not really sure. Whatever its’ merits, I did find the process of not working to a set method quite liberating and it’s nice to end up with something that isn’t typical of my current work.

Sketching a ewer and grapefruit

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