Pepper

Again a vegetable from a small series (yes, it turned into a series, it seems, I had that cold for way too long). Actually you can really learn something even while painting sush simple things. Pepper is a lovely subject too, no problems, painted quickly, nothing but pleasure ;)

I'll try to guide you through the process of painting this veggie, paying special attention to things I had some problems with or those which were completely new. Of course all questions and comments are welcome.

Sketch surely wasn't a challenge. Pepper is quite simple in shape and lights with shadows play a part in defining it, not edges. That's why I don't pay much attention to the first phase and just quickly move to background and shadow beneath my pepper. I try to use same colors as I did with the garlic (you can see it here: Czosnek) . After that I place some first, soft colors to put main shadows and lights in place.

Pepper Pepper Pepper

Here you can see that I made this... green part..?... a bit smaller. I cut it out, made smaller and merged layers again. You can even see how colors became uneven but I don't really care about that, it will be painted over anyway. After this surgical operation I move to drawing detail on this... green... thing. Well it seems to be the most interesting part of this vegetable. So slowly, with hard brush, I try to build detail on this, carefully drawing this twisted, greenish structure. I pay special attention to how light distributes on the surface of pepper itself and on the green... stem? On the yellow part light ends rapidly while on the green - it's soft. Also highlights are brighter on the yellow part witch is more sleek. Those are all simple observations and yet they can make such a difference!

Pepper Pepper Pepper

Then I move to the pepper's main body and try to adjust those lights and shadows. I also sharpen the edges with hard eraser and level up those contrast between pepper and background about which I wrote before, when I was dealing with garlic. At this point I continuously switch between layer with pepper and the one with background. One problem I had was with the shadow. You can see that it doesn't look good here but I had no idea how to improve it and what is lacking...

I leave the shadow alone for a while and try to put some lights on the top. Well, pepper certainly isn't flat so it shouldn't look like that. To achieve a realistic look I play with highlights, slowly shaping my yellow veggie. The more details and small spots I put in there, the better it looks (there is of course a certain line you shouldn't cross...). It really does help to think about is as a 3D object.

Pepper Pepper Pepper

Pepper is all shiny and stuff, it's skin was carefully polished. It's a good practice to pay attention to the edges (that's where you naturally focus your attention). On the front, in the middle of this juicy, yellow body you can see an edge which should be completely shadowed yet light still manages to point out the clean line. Observe and look for such things!

At last I realised what was wrong with the shadow under my vegetable and why I didn't like it so much. It refused to look good until I added some yellows in. Why? Pepper surely reflects yellow light (that's why you actually see it as yellow) and that light is then scattered in it's surroundings. You can even see it in the shadow. Well, you normally do not pay attention to such things and yet they make your drawings look more convincing! At least that's how I felt about it ;D

Last thing left - the kitten. I decided to show it partially hidden behind the pepper, not forgetting about small kitten's even smaller shadow.

Pepper Pepper Pepper

Some small touch ups and it's done! :)