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To The Roots: A Watercolor Still-Life Of Beets

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Step 4: Layering Lighter Colors And Rounding Them Out


For the other two beets, let’s switch it up and use the “wet-on-dry” technique for stronger colors and more control over the paint. Mix Lemon and Cadmium Yellow Deep, and use this as the base layer for the orange beet. Once again, leave highlights white. Add Brilliant Orange on top for the main color, and keep checking your values to see where to paint reflected light, shadows, etc while you progress. Use Permanent Carmine and Permanent Alizarin Crimson for shadows, and smooth out your value transitions with more Brilliant Orange and Lemon Yellow. Make sure the beet still looks round while you do this!

For the white beet, use Buff Titanium as a base color for some color contrast. Next, add Oxide of Chromium, then use Leaf Green for a brighter feeling in the lighter areas. For shadows, drop in Cerulean Blue, but not too much as the background will be the same color.

While you paint, you can fix the other beets as necessary. You can even add a glaze over the dried colors, which will add a subtle tone to the beets and improve the overall painting.