Teaching a pastel class this week I was demonstrating some basic principles - things to consider in setting up a few still life objects, how to explore your subject with thumbnails, selecting a limited color palette.
I started a demo of my still life but time was getting on and I wanted the students to have time to paint so I stopped my demo painting prematurely. When I stepped back from it I was, let's say , underwhelmed with the result. Not an inspiring painting to say the least.
Some of the students expressed curiosity about what I'd do with it, so to see if a painting with an unpromising start could turn in to something worthwhile, I took it into my studio to see if it could be turned into something that looked somewhat competent. I did like the subject and that in itself made it worthy of more effort.
So, examining the reference photo I saw that the bowl was not drawn correctly and some of the stripes were not parallel and spaced wrong. ( see photo above).
I erased the bowl edges and relocated the stripes.
Then I turned the cherry tomato 90 degrees so it would be perpendicular to the stripes.
I did not use a straight edge on the stripes, wanting a looser more informal feeling to this pastel.
I refined the edges of the eggs and reinforced the white stripes using a warm light orange color. Then I stared the white dots on the edge of the bowl.
I continued to refine the eggs and bowl, and modified the cast shadows on the white stripes.
Rather than use black for the stripes, I used a dark green so that the shadow on the black stripe cast by the tomato would be visible.
Next was adding some intense color on the tomato and the highlight, then touching up the white stripes.
So, much improved, I think, although I see that I could tighten up on the stripes a bit.
What do you think?
Eggs with Red Bowl, 12 x 12"