Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Still Life: Spode Bowl With Fruit

It has been quite a week over here.  There is lots happening and I hope to have an exciting announcement for you soon.  In the meantime, I finished up a new painting, the first of 2017.

On the spur of the moment, I decided to set up this still life.  I had no fruit or flowers, but decided to get going anyway (big mistake).  I actually worked on it like this for a few sessions, but as I kept going, I just knew it was not going to work out.

My original plan was to put fruit in the bowl and a flower or stem in the bud vase, but I just wasn't feeling it.  I finally stuck a faux flower in the vase and decided to forget this plan and move on to something else.

I went looking in my stash of props and decided to replace the bud vase with a candy dish.  I have a few vintage candy dishes and have been using them a lot lately.

This is the revamped set up.  Much better, right?  As soon as I set this up, I knew it would work.

As you can see, I just replaced the bud vase with the candy dish and then blocked in the fruit shapes.

At this point it was really just a matter of layering on paint until everything began to look like I wanted it to.  And it's always a happy day when your white objects actually begin to resemble porcelain :)

As I was nearing the end, I thought all I had to do was put in the blue and white pattern and I would be done.  However, after I did that, I realized things were still not quite right.  After some time just sitting and looking at the painting, I realized that it needed a little boost, so I darkened up the darks and lightened up the lights.  That helped give the painting a needed dose of drama and while doing that I realized a mistake with the grapes.  It is a little hard to tell, but the grapes coming out of the candy dish are more forward than the grapes in the bowl.  I had to lighten the grapes in the candy dish so that the viewer could easily see that they were closer.

Spode Bowl With Fruit, 12x9, oil

And here is the finished painting.  I spent a long time yesterday fussing with little details that no one looking at the painting will ever know about, but I think that is what makes a good painting;  attention to detail that is not obvious to the viewer.  I felt like this painting took forever, but it was really only one week of work.  I'm already on to a new one, but I'm very happy with how this painting turned out.

Btw, I got the Spode bowl on Amazon for $21.00.  Not an affiliate link, just sharing a good deal!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happy New Year And Scottsdale Painting Updates

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone is enjoying the start to 2017.  Unfortunately, I started out the new year with a major technical difficulty.  Some of you may have tried to access this blog and were redirected somewhere else.  It took a bit of doing, but I finally got things back to normal.  Thanks for your patience.

Last week, I did a bit of updating to the paintings that I shipped home from Scottsdale.  Since I had very limited time with the poses, I didn't bother too much with the backgrounds, figuring that I could take care of them later.

This was the painting of Kyla when I took it out of the box.  While in class, I just threw some alizarin on the background to get it in, but I spent the rest of the time on the model.  I knew I would need to add more color once the painting arrived home.  I also had to fix the spots on the four corners of the canvas.  In order to mail the painting home, I rolled up balls of blue tape and put one in each of the four corners, then I place another canvas of the same size on top.  The tape keeps the canvases separated for the trip home.  

The background on this painting needed a few coats as alizarin is a very transparent color, but after applying the first and then letting it sit a few days, I was able to apply enough color to get the background into shape. 

The photo above is the first coat on the background and below is the finished piece.

Next up, my painting of Dani.  This painting consisted of two three hour poses, so again, I mostly ignored the background.  

Since this painting had my familiar green background, the color mix was french ultramarine, transparent red oxide, and cadmium yellow light.  No transparent colors were used, so I just needed one coat to finish up the painting. 

Having a finished background really makes a difference.  It can be hard to finish up a painting after a workshop, but luckily in this case it worked out.  

I'm currently in the middle of two still life paintings.  I hope to have at least one of them to show you soon.