Friday, September 20, 2013

"Paisley Pumpkins"

I keep a prop basket filled with interesting fabrics I find in kitchen shops, thrift stores and of course fabric shops.  This paisley pattern has been in that basket for a long time.  I needed a set up that could hold it's own to this complex, insanely colorful pattern.  I found it in the pumpkin.

This still life is set up in the bright afternoon sun because this feels most like Autumn to me.  I painted the pattern first using a concentrated watercolor that is more staining than other paints.  This means, first, I better not make a mistake and secondly the colors will not wash away when the shadow is glazed over it.  The pumpkins are back to my favorite Winsor & Newton watercolors using all from bright yellows to a mix of various oranges and blues for the modeling of the darker areas.

"Paisley Pumpkins"
Watercolor, 9 1/2" x 14"
©Carmella Tuliszewski 2013

So how to start that paisley pattern drawing?
I taught middle school art for ten years and this is what I told my kids when a complex drawing project began.
"Draw what you see not what you assume you see.  Find a starting point and draw that first shape as perfectly as you can.  Now it all builds from this one perfect shape.  It's all about the relationship of one shape to another- how close is the second shape to the first?  Where does it touch the first shape?  Judge your sizing by that first shape, is it smaller or larger."

Practice what you preach, right?  
I kept all this in mind as I started this pattern.
This weekend is the Autumn Equinox.
A favorite time of year for me and I may have one more pumpkin painting in me before it's over.

Thanks for stopping by!

"Paisley Pumpkins" is available for purchase from my website.


  1. Beautiful painting to welcome autumn! Paisley patterns make me think of fall too. Thanks for sharing all the progress shots!

    1. Thank you Celia. I just made a couple of changes on this- tell me what you think.
      We were in Rome last april and just loved it so much. But we were sorry we
      couldn't be there for the Autumn, we heard it was so beautiful then.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...