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October 7th, 2013

Garlic Capital of the World

Sun-drenched Mediterranean climate and rich soil make Gilory, California a leading world-wide producer of premium garlic. Illustrator Suhita Shirodkar was recently commissioned to create a design for the Gilroy Welcome Center and this wonderful watercolor painting was the result. Suhita writes, “I created this illustration for the City of Gilroy, a city that labels itself ‘The Garlic Capital of the World’ and hosts the famous Gilroy Garlic Festival.

Like a lot of my sketches, this piece is rendered in watercolor, pen and ink. My urban sketches are all done on location, and are super quick and loose. As an illustrator, I use the same materials but I work more slowly, explore composition with thumbnail sketches, and draw a much more detailed and deliberate pen line to start with. Next, I add in broad areas of color like the background, for which I use a quick, loose, wet-in wet technique. Not only is this my favorite watercolor technique (I love letting wet paint bleed and mix on the paper and do all sorts of unexpected stuff), but it also sets up a really nice contrast for the more tightly rendered subject, the garlic bulbs. The garlic bulbs are created with a minimal use of very light tints of warm neutrals to convey the creamy, papery feel of the garlic bulbs and to build in areas of light and shade. The whites in the composition remain untouched. Finally, I go back to a loose, splashy technique and drop intense little splotches of color on the composition. This livens up the piece and also unifies the distinctly different areas of subject and background.”

MEDIA: Watercolor and ink
SURFACE: Beta Series – 180 Lb. (270 gsm) – Natural White – Cold Press Finish



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