Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Poppies and Grapes, 16x20, oil, in progress

Setting up a still life can be difficult.  What to choose?  I have a studio full of stuff - family favorites, antiques and thrift shop treasures.  This large stoneware urn is one of my favorite pieces.

Some of my stuff.

Set up and underpainting.
I started with a rub-out to create my underpainting.  This allows me to adjust the shapes and tones to create the look I want.  It's more important to create a pleasing composition on the canvas than to copy the set up exactly. I have touched on that theory in my earlier blogs.  And since you can only get three things wrong in a painting - the shape, the tone or the color - the underpainting takes care of the shapes and tones and now I can concentrate on color.

After two hours of painting.
I let the underpainting dry overnight and then the fun begins.  I painted this morning for two hours and was pleased with my progress.  After lunch I'll lay in the background.  This will give me a chance to soften edges while everything is still wet.

After three more hours of painting.
I added color to the background, worked on the stoneware urn and corrected the edges of the poppies.  I changed the tabletop and like the feeling of more space.  I will add another poppy but wanted to work on it a bit more.  The strength of the grapes will help me determine the placement of the third poppy.  The poppies are orange, but look pink in the photos.

This painting will need many more hours of work and I am pleased with the results, so far.

My painting companion.

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