30-in-30: One more egg in watercolor before I crack

I woke up this morning all fired up to paint another egg. After reading my friend’s email, and studying Jean Dobie’s book Making Color Sing and Exploring Color by Nita Leland, I had a plan.

Egg 5 Watercolor on #300 Arches hot press
Egg 5
Watercolor on #300 Arches hot press

1. Make sure the whole egg had tone Without paint on the paper, it’s hard to show the hotspot of the highlight.

2. Up planes are cool, down planes are warm I can see this on the egg in the shadow box. Now that I’m thinking to look for it. Funny how you can look and look and look at thing, and not really see it until it’s pointed out to you.

This little practice egg shows my plan perfectly. It took less than five minutes to make this.


3. Have a plan Cerulean blue would be the midtone on the top of the egg, with a dash of ultramarine blue at the part closest to me. An orange-yellow on the bottom of the lit side, and a grayed-down purple for the “bed-bug” line where the shaded side of the egg meets the lit side. And a nice pink color for the reflected light on the bottom of the shaded side.


4. Use grays to pop colors  Jean Dobie suggests mixing grays from complimentary colors to help pop the pure colors. I spent a lot of time thinking about grays, and about which grays should be adjacent to which colors.


5. Don’t over work  Yeah. Right.

What am I looking for with all these eggs? Last night I spent a lot of time thinking about where I’m going with this. I am looking for the freshness of these little splashes of color you see here, but with the depth of an old-master style still life. Is that even possible? I’m not sure, but evidently I will obsess about it until I figure it out.

Reader, how do you solve your obsessions?


4 thoughts on “30-in-30: One more egg in watercolor before I crack

  1. Sounds and looks like you are on a mission. What if your egg painting mission was worked out in very large paintings so you could develop what you are seeking in a very large format?

    All the different colors are so wonderful in your egg painting posted here!

    1. I guess I am on a mission at that. An egg crusade!
      A very large egg would be an interesting painting. But I think I’ve still got a lot to work out at the small size. But you make a good point, and I will think about it.

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