Meringues Painting Study: A Delicious Tutorial feat. Wayne Thiebaud
Step 1: A Sketch As Easy As Pie
This famous painting study is almost too delicious to paint, as you’ll be focusing on Wayne Thiebaud’s Meringues. Although originally an oil painting, instructor Bill shows how to translate that to a watercolor painting, with emphasis on color layering and value contrasts.
To begin, make sure you have the paints you need on your palette, and set up your painting tools like Bill has in the picture above (switch accordingly if you’re left-handed). Next, you can either use artist’s tape to tape a border around your painting area on your watercolor paper block, or draw a border that’s to scale with your reference photo. This will create a clean white border around your meringues painting study, which will work well for any future framing purposes.
When you’re done, sketch the meringue pattern, using the reference to help. Draw from large to small shapes, and keep your lines simple, as you can always add details with your paint later. Observe the proportions, perspectives, and distances between each plate of pie carefully, and try your best not to use an eraser as this may damage your paper. Don’t forget to add in the shapes of the cast shadows as well!
Ultimately, getting a good color study is more important than drawing an exact replica of Thiebaud’s work, so don’t worry too much, even if some of the lines or proportions are off.
Below is a close-up of Bill’s sketch: