Good to be back! Things have been a little cray here and one of the reasons was the need to finish this painting. I started on January 2nd and just finished last Monday. The Art Guild is having a show called "Something Blue" and I wanted to enter and became completely obsessed with finishing this painting.
I set up the still life with a blue cloth and some blue and white porcelains.
I knew I wanted to add some oranges to make the whole thing pop, so I sketched them in even before I had them. Of course, I ended up adding grapes as well (can't do a still life without grapes!).
This was the completed set up. I blocked in the whole canvas and went to work from there.
An upside down painting is never a good sign. I spent quite a bit of time with the t-square getting the symmetry of the three pieces done correctly.
Finally it started to look the way I envisioned. At this point, I kept adding coats of paint and darkened up the shadows.
I gave the whole painting a few days to dry, then I put in the blue pattern on the white pieces. I always do this part on a dry canvas because I will inevitably make a mistake, and this way I can just wipe it off with a paper towel and start again.
The last two weeks were mostly spent fussing with little things that I doubt anyone besides me would notice, but I really believe that you have to get those tiny details done correctly or it affects the whole painting. So what did I do? I brightened up the glass compote. It was looking a little dull and not fitting in with the rest of the painting. One day I got so annoyed with it that I just threw a stroke of white on it and that did the trick. I also spent some time fixing the bottom of the pitcher on the left. It was not as round as I wanted so I had to play with the light and shadow a bit. I also lightened up the cloth near the cut orange to help bring the viewer's eye across the painting. The last thing I did was brighten up the grapes to the left of the pitcher. There was no light happening in that area of the painting and it needed some.
Here is the finished painting. I'm really glad I kept at it with this one. There were days when it was beyond frustrating, but it was all worth it in the end. The painting did make it into the show! Opening and reception will be March 3rd. I'll post details as it gets closer for anyone in the area who might like to stop in.