I like to keep a travel art journal whenever we are away from home, because it's such a fun way to document our time - what we saw, what we did, and of course, what we ate.
Each summer, when we are in the south of France, my mother-in-law buys des fraises du bois or wild strawberries. For anyone who hasn't had them before, they're smaller and sweeter than regular strawberries. And a bit more tender, too. So, they're like regular strawberries, but better. They're pretty hard to find at fruit stands and once they get home, they're just hard to find period. I suspect that all the children sneak them from the fridge whenever we're not looking.
I was able to snatch a few before they disappeared, and I quickly sketched them in my journal. I started playing with watercolors about a month ago, and I'm still in the very beginning stages of "mastering" the medium, but I love it. Watercolors are easy to carry, fun to play with, and quickly add a pop of color to any sketch I do.
I was trying different techniques here to capture the essence of the strawberry. I filled in the top left two first, and worked my way counter-clockwise around. I knew I wanted to leave white space to help with depth, but I wasn't sure exactly how to do it. At first, I was leaving white space to mimic the light on the berries, but by the final strawberry I felt like I had come miles along - the way the white spaces used as seeds is much more effective for me.
To salvage the picture, I used ink to draw in seeds and suggest the lines of the stems & leaves. Since this is in my sketchbook, I am of course bound by only two rules:
- Put something on the paper.
- Finish it.
As usually, there was a point I considered throwing in the towel, remembered my own rule, and was glad I continued. I don't love it, but I do like it, and that's good enough for me.
Tonight before bed, I'll add the date and a few sentences about the day (is it weird to talk about cliff-jumping on a page painted with strawberries?).