The shape of eggs have intrigued me since earliest childhood. At four or five years of age, I remember studying their shape with three of them inside a round pot. Their shape and the negative space they created was exciting!
Then there were our Easter eggs. Not the average kinds, but the 'written' kinds, called pysanky. Russian/Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated with a wax-resist technique.
The egg is 'written' with a stylus or a 'kistka' with wax. Any color that the wax covers is protected. So if you start with a white egg and draw wax lines, those lines will be white. If you then place the egg into a yellow dye bath, everything that has no wax is yellow. Then you cover anything you want to keep yellow, and so on until the final color is reached.
Amazing artwork, right on an egg!
After 'writing' the above Easter egg a few days ago, I just had to draw an egg with graphite pencils.
I wanted to see pencil strokes. I wanted to see fine shading on the egg, and, I wanted to display the egg in a pedestal style egg cup.
With no egg cups in the house, I studied them on the internet, looking at their shapes, textures and the effects light had on each one.
(A little known secret: many artists do a lot of research on their subjects before they do any drawing or painting!)
Once I did a study sketch, I was able to brainstorm what I wanted to do further.
Color. Light. Texture (not always easy to accomplish in watercolors). Contrast. Composition.
I wanted color to help portray the smooth surface and shape of the egg. The whole reason for the painting.
Light was for ambiance. A cool, peaceful, luxurious, soft ambiance. Blue was a good choice in this case; morning light is cool, clear, bright and even bluish if early enough.
Texture was for interest.
Contrast in light and color accentuates the shape of the egg.
I wanted the composition to be simple and clean. No clutter. This adds to ambiance.
The challenge was to use texture, even pencil strokes visible on the egg, and still portray a smooth egg. But the contrast between the egg and the wall is most exciting.
That is why I used watercolor pencils, for the pencil-like strokes in the texture, which pumps up the contrast.
And for the best and final touch, the orange yolk is the complement to blue!
The silkiest, smoothest part of the whole painting!
I am very happy with how this turned out!
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Fantastic sources of inspiration!
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