Friday, July 20, 2012

75 Day Sketch Challenge: Day 30

Despite our current drought conditions, my garden is thriving. I've been watering it every few days, and that seems to have helped. I have loads of ripe cucumbers, green peppers, and eggplants, and the tomatoes are just starting to turn red. The sweet corn is finally ripening, and the raccoons haven't wiped it out yet. We had some for dinner tonight, and it was fantastic!

All of that ripe summer produce inspired me to do a gridded page in my sketchbook with little vignettes of glossy purple eggplants, deep pink rhubarb stalks, shiny green peppers and prickly cucumbers...

5-1/4" x 8-1/2", drawn directly with pen & ink, with watercolor added later

Here are some closer views...

Detail, 2" x 2-3/4"

I love the deep magenta color of the rhubarb stalks, and the way the color transitions from red to green. I'm not sure I captured it very well in this little sketch - maybe I'll try a larger one sometime.

I like the curling tendril on this next sketch. I used a white gel pen to make the white dots of the prickly spines on the cucumbers. (That was much easier than trying to paint around all those spots of white!)

Detail, 2-3/4" x 1-3/4"

I think I managed to capture the yellow-y green color of the peppers in this painting...

Detail, 2-1/4" x 2-1/2"

... but my favorite part of this page is the hole-y, chewed-up leaves on the eggplant.

Detail, 2" x 4"

This is what I'm talking about when I encourage my students to draw what they actually see, not what they think a thing looks like. This isn't a generic plant; it's a particular plant at a specific moment in time, with individual leaves which have a unique pattern. And that pattern of chewed edges and ragged holes tells a story and makes for a more interesting painting.


  1. Love all the sketching. I really love your color choices too. Your color pallet is lovely. Fun seeing all the chewed up leaves too. Its funny how we can look at something sometimes and never really SEE it. Great post.

  2. oops.. that was supposed to be, Love all the Sketches..:)

    1. Thanks so much, Cris. I appreciate your taking the time to read, and write.

  3. Leslie, this so perfectly says "summer". All those rich colors and textures(love the shine on the peppers and eggplant). Oh, I wish we were neighbors! Of course, we might never get anything but sketching done...

  4. Hi Leslie, I love it that your subjects are vegetables. It is frequently painted or sketched but I like yours the most. Its incredible.

  5. Boy, I've missed a lot! Your teaching painting now, Leslie? You are amazing!!


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