Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A New Still Life: Fruit Compote On A Rug

I finished a new still life last week.  It is a small 9x12, but it took me weeks to finish it.  There is an old saying that a small painting takes just as long as a large one, and in this case it was true.

This time I used a rug for the background.  I think this is only the second time I've painted a rug, and this time turned out much better than my first attempt.

This was my first day block in.  In order to get the colors of the rug the way I wanted them to be, I used many coats of paint on the background.  Even though there are a few different colors in the rug, I began by putting a mix of transparent red oxide and cadmium red light on to the background and then letting it dry.  I chose the red mix because that seemed to be the most prominent color in the rug.  I let each coat dry and then added another.  I think it took a total of five coats of paint.

I believe this was my fourth week on the painting.  As you can see, the color of the background is very rich.  After this dried for a bit I was able to start putting in the design of the rug.  I also finished the fruit and the compote, with the exception of it's blue pattern.

This is the finished painting.  I had a crazy last day working on it.  I began by putting in the pattern on the rug.  I used my small t-square to make sure I got the lines straight, painted in the colors of the pattern, then used a palette knife to make the edges just a bit imperfect.  That is how I achieved the "ruggy" look.

Since I was on a roll, I then painted in the blue pattern on the compote.  Amazingly, I finished that in about 10 minutes!  You just never know with a pattern.  Sometimes it goes right in, other times you agonize for days ( as I did in the painting I just finished).

I'm really happy with this little painting.  It was fun to do and something different from my normal work.  I finished up a new still life today and I will have a post on that coming up soon.


  1. Replies
    1. By the way, loved your article on the OPA blog. I was feeling a bit of burnout myself and trying something new really helped! (I'll be writing about it soon.)