Saturday, March 13, 2010

Strawberry Guava

In early February 2009, we planted two strawberry guava trees in our backyard. This past winter one got a big chewing of its leaves in late winter by possums. However, it recovered in spring (when possums found other things to eat instead). And we have had a crop of guava fruit coming. The fruits are small, around 3 cm in diameter (1.3 " or so), but look like the big guavas in shape, but they are miniature sized. Saturday we checked a good crop on the trees, maybe 3 dozen or more guavas at various stages. And yesterday we saw that the first ones had ripened, turning a gorgeous strawberry red color in a matter of 3 short days. Hence their name.

Ian promptly ate most of the ripened crop before I could stop him (he loves guavas !). I managed to stop him from consuming one last branch of with several fruit and also leaves. And I trimmed that one off, because all its fruit was already ripe. And today I painted it. I used oils and did it on a small 8 x 10 " canvas. Here is an early version of the painting, shown right.

I added more shadows, which I chose to do in purples. I have had purple on the mind lately and it is coming into winter fashion here and I see purple everywhere. I had some nice purple pigments, Ultramarine Violet, one by Art Spectrum called Tasman Blue (a blue with a good dollop of purple in it. Both of these mixed with my reds to make stunning deep violet hues. To make them moodier, I added Burnt Sienna. Though I used that Tasman Blue straight for a few shadows, it really stands out next to the more violet shadows. I also did my shadows and highlights in the fruit and leaves, and that gave it more dimension. The finished painting is shown here on the left.

There are more guavas ripening. Not quite ready to eat yet, but one or two more days and they will be !

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