Thursday, 4 December 2014


So, here's the onion and thanks to good friend Polly O'Leary we now have the name of these festive accessories, 'Veggiebaubles'.

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.

Dorothy Day

First wet-in-wet wash of
Quinacridone magenta, Perylene Maroon and Indanthrene Blue.

As the wash dried, I dropped in a bit more of the colour to give the
initial depth of tone

Now here's a bit of history on the uses of onions. It would appear that onions really were the miracle of their day, and after reading this bit, you'll never look at one in quite the same way again. In ancient Greece, athletes ate large quantities of onion because it was believed to lighten the balance of the blood, while Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onions to firm up their muscles. In the Middle Ages, onions were such an important food that people would pay their rent with onions, and even give them as gifts, (ah, the answer to my Christmas present dilemmas). Now, here's the really interesting bit, doctors were known to prescribe onions to facilitate bowel movements and erections, and to relieve headaches, coughs, snakebite and hair loss. Well now, who knew that.

Ahem, excuse my blushes. Let's get back to the painting.

All the time I am working, I check the colour on scraps of watercolour paper, and keep the chart close by.

Further wet-in-wet washes build up the tones and shadows, keeping the lines and colours soft and blurry.

Here I have also painted in the raffia tie,
using Lemon Yellow, Indanthrene Blue and Perylene Maroon

Pinky tones using Permanent Rose in some of the red washes are added to give the colours variation here and there.

Altering the temperature in parts of the painting, 'lifts' the highlights.

Using a damp brush, the details on the onion skin are built up

Starting on the tomato with the raffia tie

As red as Rudolph's nose, a little tomato on a raffia string completes the design.

Testing the reds, greens and highlight tones.

Pyrrol Red, Perylene Scarlet and Transaparent Pyrrol Orange by Daniel Smith
The usual suspects of Lemon Yellow, Indanthrene Blue, Sennelier Yellow Light and Perylene Maroon
make up the rest of the tomatoey team.

Underneath, I will add some festive typography 

No comments: