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Monday, 31st December 2001, West Yorkshire

lemonWHERE WOULD we be without lemons?

The citrus family originated in China and Southeast Asia and it's thought that they weren't available in ancient times in the Mediterranean. At a recent reconstruction of the funeral feast of King Midas, or Mita, a king of Phygria part of modern Turkey, food writer Fuchsia Dunlop chose ground sumac, a relative of the cashew nut, as a souring agent for use in the humus, adding pomegranate juice to lighten up the dish. She found that adding this to the chickpeas created a strangely pink humus paste.

Lemon Yellow

I find it difficult to paint yellow objects. It's fine if you're painting a brown object; you can use dark brown for the shadows and a lighter brown for the highlights to give it form, but there's no such colour as dark yellow. Deep yellow yes, dark yellow, not really. The shadows on the lemon tend to be shades of green, or orange, depending on the colour of the light that is reflected into the shadow from the surroundings. Most lemons have a slightly greenish cast.

I started this sketch in pencil then added washes of dilute reddish and bluish tones. After letting this underpainting dry off I went of over it again with a wash of yellow.

So much depends on reflected colour that I then felt I had to include a little of the background (blue denim; it was balanced on my knee next to the sketchbook).next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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