Monday, March 17, 2008

Petals and Cream III ~In Progress II

The following images show the continuing progress on this 16x20 painting.

I began to block in the flowers, making sure that I was accurately placing the large shapes of light and shadow. I would concern myself with the details after the proper large shapes of value were established.

It was then necessary to work in the background to achieve correct edges around the flowers. Also the darks of the leaves and stems were added to be sure that the range of values was accurate.

After choosing certain flowers to receive detailed attention, I then went on to add lightly the pattern on the pitcher and begin moving left to add the second pitcher. Now that the flowers are completed I no longer have an uncomfortable sense of urgency.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Petals and Cream III - In progress

In continuation with the Petals and Cream series, a third and larger painting has been started in the studio. But first I found it necessary to figure a way to effectively hang fabric behind my still lifes. The more I paint in the studio, the more I realize what is needed for versatility and space management.

The other day I devised a grouping of hooks and wire for such a purpose.

After figuring the background and deciding on the still life arrangement, I began painting. Here you can see again, my usual rough estimate of object placements. At this point it is crucial that I establish the size of one main object, and draw the other objects in proportion and relation to that first object. This helps me to not only be sure that the objects are in a comfortable size so as to remain on the canvas and not come too close to the edge, but to also judge for pleasing composition.

This is only an estimation and I refrain from creating a detailed drawing, for I will only cover it with paint directly upon completion. Also, I find that if I spend so much time on the drawing, when it comes time to paint, I rely too much on the drawing and it becomes a paint by number feel for me, and the painting becomes stiff and inaccurate.

After the initial drawing, I locate the easiest shape of value and color to get correct. I chose the light side of this pitcher. Soon after establishing the values and colors of this pitcher I laid in some of the darks around it to be sure that my values were correct - color and value is, after all, relative to it's surrounding colors and values. Painting the cloth underneath the pitcher was also important as it was a different shade of white - it was good to see the contrast between both shades as they were on the canvas exactly as I was seeing with my eyes.

I aim to complete this 16x20 painting by the end of next week - check back to see the progress.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mandarin Crowd

Progression Slideshow

There was something about those mandarins when I walked past the kitchen counter. They caught my eye so I knew if anything I at least had to create a small study of them.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Petals and Cream

Petals and Cream
P r o g r e s s i o n
S l i d e s h o w

As you can see from the progressions, the flowers were not originally in the still life. About halfway through it became obvious to me that something was needed in order to keep the painting from appearing monochromatic.

This pitcher, one of three cream colored beauties, is from my mother, with whom I share matching sets. I will continue this series with additional paintings in this coloring and with these lovely subjects.

The napkin on the shelf, along with the rest of the set, belonged to my grandmother. They all bear my grandfather's embroidered initials.