Lillias August RI | Watercolour | 13 x 19 inches

“My vegetable paintings and trowels – The paintings of cobs, beetroot and onions were done in response to an initiative that asked people to eat locally sourced food within a 30 mile radius for 30 days. The paintings are in praise of growing your own especially the trowels – the title, ‘Power tools’, emphasises all this and the background was an attempt to show the dynamic importance of self sufficiency etc.  I have a tiny vegetable garden. I’m not a vegetarian but I eat far less meat than I used to. I found the whole experience taught me a lot about the difficulties of buying and existing on local produce and made me determined to try harder to do it as well as paint these beautiful veg.

My paintings are done in layers, building up tone and colour along the way. Sometimes I need to wait a day or two to let things set. I use masking fluid to give me freedom and consistency with my washes and to help me put down the painting’s layout – these areas are often washed over and blended in later when the mask is removed.

My palette is limited: a basic six (two of each primary) and a few extras. I use the most transparent, stain-strong colours I can get. Neutrals come from mixing three primaries, most of my neutral colours are mixed using a blue and raw or burnet sienna. Sometimes I use all four and sometimes and sometimes I add a touch of something else like Quinacridone if it needs , testing and adjusting as I go. Its very instinctive.” Lillias August

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