Runner Beans

The last garden vegetables left to harvest include a few scarlet runner beans that I’ve had my eye on since their red flowers bloomed in August. I didn’t make time to paint them then, but didn’t want to miss them altogether.

click to view larger

click to view larger

I sketched directly in ink and then added watercolor to the foreground layer. I went back in and painted an additional layer of light watercolor vines and beans to add more depth. The shadows are really important to making this work because they create the illusion of light and depth. Done in Stillman and Birn Zeta journal, 8.5 x 11.

85 Comments on “Runner Beans

    • Thanks Carol! This was one of those times when I just wasn’t satisfied with the initial ink drawing and painting– the page needed more, so I kept adding until it felt done. I’m glad I added those ghosted layers.

  1. Loving the shadows Jean! I also enjoy the way you dapple your greens on the
    beans. Just lovely. Am enjoying fields of prairie grasses here in Kansas!

  2. I love this! The ghosted layers add so much interest. I was trying to sketch some sweet pea vines and couldn’t get happy with the clutter of linework. This approach makes so much more sense.

  3. I really like this sketch–especially the way you added that lighter layer in the background–I think that Makes it very interesting to look at.

  4. Lovely! Shadows here are really effective. The last bit from the harvest I have (besides storage things like squash and onions) were red and yellow cherry tomatoes. Yum!

    And question: I am seeing that particular type of sketchbook popping up everywhere on people’s posts. Anything special about them?

    • Hi- I have tried all sorts of sketchbook brands and ultimately, you have to find what works best for you. But– I really like Stillman & Birn for several reasons: they are really well made; the paper holds up with watercolor; there are a number of sizes, papers and binding options and I love the hard bound book. If I’m going to invest my time doing artwork in journals, I want to do it in a high quality book that will last. At the same time, I don’t want the book to be so precious that I don’t feel comfortable carrying it in the field in all sorts of conditions. I’ve been using these sketchbooks for several years and have been very, very satisfied. Give one a try.

  5. Jean! Your work is ABSOLUTELY exquisite!! You have such a wonderful sense of design in addition to knowing intuitively what works!! Everything you create is simply stunning!! And, you are doing what I wish I had the time and energy to do- tho I certainly have the desire!!

    • Wow! What a generous compliment! I’m glad you are enjoying my artwork and I hope it inspires you to find some time for your own. I totally understand not having enough hours in the day (or week) to draw/paint/create. I just keep chipping away. Thanks for being in touch! — Jean

  6. Amazing! Your hand is so skilled and precise to come up with this work of art from a seemingly ordinary subject, runner beans! O you, Artists, you are so extremely gifted! Your painting is an exquisite delight, very thought out! It looks like a photograph to me!

    • I really like to work across the spread. It’s less confining and more fun, and definitely suits a subject like this where you want the vines to trail. Good luck with your blog– I like the title.

    • I tend to limit my palette to a few colors. I know how they mix together to get lots of variation and what effects I can get with them, so that helps keep me out of the mud. This piece has only about four colors mixed in different combinations. Glad you liked it!

      • I really like this style of art work. It’s clean fun and vibrant. I like it when an image is achieved with very few lines. I’ve illustrated a children’s book and I had to leave the cover very basic because of my lack of I sight into colour. Stuck with what you’re doing though. It looks great 🙂

      • Oh crap. Just looked through some of your work on your blog. “I’m not worthy..I’m not worthy…” 🙂 wow it looks amazing. I’m going to have to sit down later and properly explore it.

      • Just responded again but I think an error occurred. I’ve just looked through your blogs at some of your other work. Wow!

      • Thanks Ned! Looks like you are dabbling in some interesting topics on your blog. Good to keep looking at the world in fresh ways!

      • Thanks Jean. I started the blog just to talk about my writing bit then realised how much nonsense there is in my head I need to get rid of 🙂

    • Well…I guess you did like a few things here! I am looking at your blog, but I can’t read the text, so that makes it a little tough! What’s the gist?

    • Thanks– your blog looks fun. Wish some of the photos that are meant to be vertical weren’t posted horizontally…makes it kind of hard to see the style. But fun stuff, none-the-less.

  7. Jean!! I love your writings! Would you please go through my work and gimme a few tips? I write about love and pain. ☺

    • Thanks for checking in. I checked out your blog, but it’s not really my place or expertise to give you writing tips. The one bit of feedback that I would give is that I couldn’t really tell quite what the blog is about from the title and screenshot at the top, and you don’t explain the title in About. The “About” section is pretty brief and leaves me hanging, too– who is Florence? Why all this love and pain? Because first impressions count in blogging, you might want to take a look at that and see if you can make it more clear. Good luck!

  8. You have very nice drawings. Wish I could do that free hand, lol. All I can do is color by numbers, lol. Keep up the good work, I especially like the string beans as they are one of my favorite veggies.

  9. I’ve always been a big fan of watercolor and your work is astounding. I like the subtle background. It adds depth to the picture without being distracting.

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