Larva Dulce – Still Life at the Peace Taco

Since I still work full time, and expect I will be for quite a few years ahead, I’ve been trying to continue improving by drawing and painting more consistently with little drawings through the week. Ideally, I would art every day, but until I figure out other things to drop out of my life and reduce the Facebook, I add to the journal about once a week – sometimes twice if I’m getting really arty.

Last week’s entry occurred during a field trip where a small team of us cruised along the levees of the northern Sacramento Valley collecting data on recently windblown trees.

Lunch was in the small town of Colusa at one of those non-descript little Mexican restaurants clad in faded pink stucco and bright signs. Peace Taco is what I call it. More properly, Panaderia y Taqueria La Paz. Inspiration struck as the owner rolled out her rack of still-warm sweet breads. And an elote pan dulce became the still life of the day.

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I started with a quick ink sketch with water soluble ink (a 0.7mm Bic Rollerball pen) and softened and shadowed it with a Niji waterbrush. This took about 10 minutes. A benefit to not wanting my co-workers waiting around for me to finish is that it forced me to not overthink my drawing and worry about perfect perspective and, “how do I portray sugar grains?”

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Later in the evening at home, I added the watercolor washes. With color, it looks more like a Monarch caterpillar now and not as much like a sweet bread like I hoped. So I call this watercolor sketch Larva Dulce. I still like it, though. It’s loose and painterly, and not overworked.

A few folks on Instagram put a heart on it, so I’m thinking it must have looked legit enough to pass as something edible. Or people are just humoring me and being kind. Hard to tell sometimes.

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