Saving the Whites
These cacti were in a green house at the “The Living Desert Zoo” in Palm Desert California. This impressive zoo works its’ exhibits into the mountains. The giraffes were particularly interesting to me as there was a deep ditch that circled near a raised stage for viewers. You can see the giraffe walking behind the ditch like a line in a painting with only their necks showing above it and the whole giraffe in front. The giraffe might not like these Turk’s Cap cacti, also known as Mother-In-Laws Pincushion or Barrel Cactus.
The first day of our Red River Watercolor Society workshop, juror/instructor Ron Thurston instructed us to paint a subject using 3 colors plus black. The white paper gives life to this piece. I focused on capturing the volume and texture of the cacti as simply as possible using Turquoise, Scarlet Lake and Raw Sienna. The edges of the cactus are significantly simplified but the prickliness was exaggerated by exposing the white paper.