Thursday, July 18, 2013

Botanical Sketches #9 - Orange - Citrus Sinensis

Previous Botanical Sketches can be found here.  
Today's Botanical Sketch of the orange, citrus sinensis, posed a few challenges.  The fruit's skin isn't smooth, it has a slight texture and it's glossy.  I wanted the sketch to look like more than just orange orbs among greenery, so I worked to create a shape that wasn't perfectly round, but still recognizable as such.  The background paper that I chose also was a bit of a challenge to use as the red and yellow stripes are very striking and I needed an image that would dominate them.  I wound up using some gesso on the orange, leaves and flower to layer on the paper after I did a pencil sketch.  The gesso acts as a primer to block out the underlying layer of color.  It can be watered down to make it translucent, but I wanted the images to pop from the background.  After I painted on the gesso and let it dry, I used colored pencils over it.  It isn't detectable after it's covered so gesso is like a secret weapon of sorts.

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