Season of Abundance

It is the season of abundance. Farm stands and farmer’s markets overflow with luscious color and variety. Gardens are ripening toward their fullest beauty. I am utterly drawn in.

Red Cabbage

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Forgive me if you are a lover of cabbage. Aside from when it is disguised in coleslaw or egg rolls, I find cabbage hard to enjoy…except when painting it. Then the lovely blending of purples and greens and blues, of leaf shapes and of the spaces between them reveal the cabbage’s true beauty.

Pumpkin Vine

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I got down on the ground for this perspective of pumpkin vines. So much happening at that level!

I painted these in my Stillman & Birn “Zeta” sketchbook and I really put it put the paper to the test. Zeta has 270 gsm smooth, white paper that is great for ink but sometimes tricky for very wet watercolor. The paint doesn’t merge in the paper, as it does with most cold press papers, but rather on the paper. I find that there is very little reworking that you can do while the paper is wet, but the paper holds up to lot’s of layers of washes. These were worked very wet to increasingly dry, light to dark.

38 Comments on “Season of Abundance

  1. Gorgeous cabbage painting! Beware of eating too much uncooked cabbage as it is a goitrogen (as are most brassicas) and can affect your thyroid hormones.

    • Thanks! Might have to do that one again on different paper. I kept thinking that paper more conducive to rich washes would work really well for the leaves.

  2. Beautiful! And you seemed to manage the paper very well. I just purchased a Beta S&B journal. I like it but it also is very different to painting on regular cold press. I’m getting streaky washes. I think it must be best for layering. Any suggestions? You do wonders with that paper.

    • I use the Beta quite a bit too, and I like it. I find it better for watercolor, but it eats my pens, so I switch back and forth with Zeta. I wonder if you should experiment with going wetter with the wash and making sure you’re pulling from the bead with each stroke you add to the wash. Feel free to email me a photo of one of your pages if you want me to take a look– I might be able to better advise you if I see an example. (

  3. Love the hand lettering on these! And the color on those cabbage leaves is beautiful.

  4. Absolutely stunning!! Love how you painted the negative spaces around the vegetables. The blues of the cabbage draw me in and your lovely lettering adds a nice touch of sweetness to your painting! 🙂

    • Thanks Jill! I used some of new blues I tested last week to get those deep purples. Both Indigo and Indathrone are very staining, so a little bit goes a long way. As always, I appreciate your comment.

    • Thanks Tiff– I’m mainly self-taught, but I’ve been at it awhile. Still so much I want to learn and be able to do! I suppose that’s a good thing. Thanks for following!

  5. Love your postings today and I agree that painting cabbage can be tricky but fun. I would love to know how you achieve such good results photographing your journal pages, if you have a moment to explain. Many thanks.

    • Hi Sally- I photograph my pages outside in bright sunlight with my iPhone (4!). Then I either use the phone’s edit mode to adjust the exposure a little (it’s usually a little dark) or I pull the image into Photoshop and adjust it there. When I do that, I can make a better adjustment and resize the image for the web. Do you have access to Photoshop? If so, I can tell you a little more. Thanks for your interest.

  6. Love these, Jean, and I love how you include lessons/tips as well. Have been trying to do a sketch every day, and enjoying every second of it!

    • Way to go Amy! Thanks for checking in and glad you like these pages. I’m headed by to Maine for a week tomorrow! Can’t wait for coastal sketching!

      • Oh I am so envious! Part of my laziness has included searching zillow for just the right Maine island house! In my dreams… Have fun and can’t wait to see some of the sketching!

  7. Pingback: Season of Abundance — Drawn In – Traveling with God blessings

  8. They say that the devil is in the detail. But it would say that that your immaculate detailing has won me. Fine painting. Keep it up

    Please drop by my blog in your spare time. I write movie reviews.Feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

  9. I LOVE your paintings! I feel like I can stare at the different shades and colour combinations all day! They’re absolutely gorgeous!

    Sorry for all the exclamation points, but WOW, OH WOW!

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