Saturday, 4 April 2015


As The topic at Avon Valley Artists was Fruit and/or Vegetables, I looked out a small picture of Rhubarb that I had keep for ages with the intention of having a go at painting it. I think I must have been mad. I can honestly say that the leaves of the plant were probably the hardest set of inanimate objects that I have ever tried painting!!
I did not discover this until it was well under way. I had done a fairly loose drawing of the leaves and just thought that I would deal with the 'how' later. I might have given up before I started otherwise!
Once the drawing was ready, I started with the sticks of fruit and their background, trying to vary the colours a bit to make them more interesting. I worked from the centre outwards and left some slightly more yellow than the bright pinks in the middle 

I tackled the leaves, by painting very pale backgrounds of Naples Yellow and then using stronger yellows and greens, including Yellow Ochre, and Serpentine Green to paint around the veins allowing the background colour to be seen.
As I moved across the paper, I tried to get darker and freer, using Apatite Green Genuine with the Serpentine Green to produce the variety of colours. I then added some very dark green in he top RH corner to give some depth.

Writing this description makes it all seem so simple, but the leaves of Rhubarb are very distinctive and  I did want to portray their blousy ebullient character and did not want them to appear flat. It took a long time and I was never really sure it was going to work.

Since finishing the painting, I thought the sticks seemed a little pale, so I added a bit more colour so that the painting did not seem so top heavy.


                             Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300 gm paper


  1. It's beautiful Yvonne - a very difficult subject I would think. I have learned a bit about background/balance from this post and think the end result is really very pretty. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I am always happy to share.

  3. I really liked your "Rhubarb". I used it to illustrate my post at and I hope you don't mind. If you would prefer I remove it, please just let me know and 'twill be done.