Within this exercise, there are various watercolour techniques to practice and develop. Painting a strawberry, this involves a palette from yellow, cadmium red (yellow bias), a medium red and then a rose madder or crimson (blue bias). The leaves: a palette of yellow, a light green, a medium green and a dark green. I make dark greens by adding red to them, wonderful colours. The seeds on the strawberry: these can be drawn in after the painting is complete or I usually paint the medium red and when that layer of colour is wet I take a worn out biro and impress the seed shapes on to the shape.
The cream on the cake: use chromatic white, which is the lightest tone of any colour you can make. This is about 95% water to 5% paint. I used a lemon yellow, a process magenta, and also a mix of both of the colours. You really do not want the paper “white” only tiny areas of it, if any.
The cake: Under paint with lemon yellow and use the same palette as you used on the strawberry. But when you mix your darkest green, using a red to darken, use a stipple brushstroke for the texture of the cake.
For the cupcake case: use the same palette as the cake. When it is 100% dry use a quality watercolour pencil and glaze over the top areas of the cupcake case.
When the strawberry is 100% dry: glaze with gum Arabic to add extra sheen.
The background and the cake stand: again, use chromatic white, I used a purple, working light to a slightly stronger tone to suggest shadow cast by cakes on the stand.
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