20th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists & The Horticultural Society of New York

Quince Study

Cydonia oblonga
I have always loved quinces: the beautiful, indented round form, the fine hairs on the fruit, and the prolific production of the trees.  Even more magical is the alchemy of cooking quinces, and the transition from the unremarkable hard white flesh through to a peachy pink, followed by the translucent garnet of the set cooked fruit.  And the fragrance in the kitchen is heavenly.
I planted two quince trees in my garden in Amman, Jordan, and three years later they were bearing almost a hundred fruits between them.  
I painted this picture at the end of the season, when the leaves were crisp, torn and aging, and the fruit a little battered by the wind.  I chose to compose the specimen charging into the painting window from the top left to give a sense of drama, scale and size.  The branches were so fascinating, with their bumps and markings, which changed the further from the main stem they were, and the softer leaf stems had a definite pink tint. 
The leaves are so plentiful on the branches than it is difficult to distinguish one from the other when painting.  And they can be so very dark with pigment.  I resorted to the end of the blue spectrum, indanthrene blue, as a green base for the leaves.  
One of the fruits in the painting is more mature, towards the end of the branch, and the other is ever so slightly greener.  
The graphite study helps to describe the inside of the fruit, so that the entirety of the quince form is depicted within the one work.  I like to add a dissection when I think the painting could benefit from more information than is given by the external form of the subject alone.  
  • © 2015 Heidi Venamore
    Quince Study
    Cydonia oblonga
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    12" x 16-1/2"