Another Look at that Eggplant—Yes Gouache

October 2, 2012

Above: Another painting of my friend's eggplant, also, as it happens, on a prepainted journal page. The edges of the page spread were masked off before I painted the background with light washes of acrylics. Then a week or so later I drew and painted this eggplant. The journal is a 7 x 9 inch one I made using Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media paper.

Sometimes I don't put my glasses on at night when I sketch and then things start to get fussy, like the cap on this eggplant, as I squint away. But I was having too much fun to get up and get my glasses. 

You can see the first eggplant painting I did of this little guy here. It wasn't as plump as the first painting and it wasn't as thin as this second painting. That unpainted drawing is just about right. But some of the change is also attributable to different angles and "shriveling." The eggplant is getting older in the fridge as I type this. I really do need to paint it one more time! (I'm working in a journal with tan paper now and it would be fun.)

Both of the above sketches were done with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. The second, unpainted sketch, is actually a little more detailed around the cap (with pen lines), because I knew I wasn't going to paint it and hide lines. I just wanted to do one more sketch, not write something about the painting or my day, on that page spread. Sometimes, gasp, I just don't want to write.

In this painting the cap is drying out and losing color and the eggplant itself is also losing color, becoming more violet/red and I think it is going towards a dullish brown (we'll see what happens as it ages).

On this side you can also see the scars, and they are more prominent than before.

This was the last empty page spread in that journal. (Paging doesn't happen until I finish a journal. I was so happy to finish the journal I paged the book right away and indexed it even before I scanned it to post.) It was good fun to finish up the book with a painting. 

    • Karen E
    • October 2, 2012

    Love it! I also paint & draw without wearing my glasses. I like it that way when I don’t want to get hung up in details.

  1. Reply

    Thanks Karen, but my eyes are really, really shot. I’m squinting and squinting and going into Monet land! I have to let go and just go with it, without the squinting!

    • Frank Bettendorf
    • October 2, 2012

    Roz, Very nice. Great capture of the shape through your use of highlights and shadows. The unpainted one is a favorite. Quite realistic, somewhat of a shock!
    Nice article, with picture, in the Strathmore Art Newsletter and I’m pleased to read the Mixed Media paper reviews by your MN friends. I enjoyed it.
    Leaves are turning here in the Northwest and we continue to have NO rain. Somebody is diddling with the systems?
    Frank B

  2. Reply

    I have been struggling with increasing vision problems, and I was thinking that I would have to get more loose with my line but your post made me laugh because I think it’s not looseness, just lack of skill! I had drifted away from sketching with my PPBP (I have no idea why) but after another of your recent posts, got it out again and am trying to let myself be both loose, and maybe not worry about the unskilled part. But at least I’m not squinting (until I try to type this). Good luck!

  3. Reply

    Lizzie Bo, the PPBP definitely takes some getting used to if you’ve always drawn with stiff implements (or stiffer depending on how flexible a pen nib you might use—dip pens being often very flexible); and one can’t have too much practice. But eyesight definitely plays a factor for me espec. when I get tired or my neck it tight, which is now a regular thing (the tight neck). Happily I enjoy the practice! But I think I would enjoy it a bit more if I just got up and walked into the other room and got my glasses!

    There’s a book on improving your vision, well actually two of them, that you might want to check out at the library
    “Take Off Your Glasses and See” by Jacob Liberman
    “Relearning to See” by Thomas R. Quackenbush.

    I think I probably use the PPBP every day, just because it is fun for me and it forces me to be loose. But I will sometimes spend the majority of my day working with something firm like the Staedtler Pigment Liner and it forces me to think differently. A nice compromise for me is the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist’s Calligraphy pen.

  4. Reply

    Frank, great to hear from you! Thanks for reminding me about the article. I just got word yesterday and I need to post about that. I saw a proof before they went live and think they did a lovely job putting the images in. I think what people had to say about the paper will be helpful to others thinking about trying such a wonderful paper.

    We too are getting no rain (or very little) here, but I am overlooking larger concerns as the true cycling addict I have become and right now am just focusing on day after day of stunning fall loveliness and cool temps which make riding this time of year such a joy. It’s so beautiful here. I have a post about it coming up this weekend.

    I hope you are getting out and getting some sketching in!

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