Red leaves and green stalks

I’d never seen artichokes like these before and – not really thinking about eating them – instantly bought a couple to photograph and draw. I first did some rough drawings in my sketch book before transferring these onto a zinc plate with a hard ground.

Once I had the basic etching in place, I then set to work to apply the aquatint to bring the shadows between the petals (I suppose that’s what they are) to life and to anchor the artichokes, using shadow, to the surface they’re placed on. This etching – despite it’s relative modesty – represents a new level of sophistication in terms of aquatint, which I repeated multiple times until I was happy.

A painting to go with it

From the etching (not the usual way round), I then did a painting from my original photographs. This is done on MDF, using gouache. A very quick study.