Friday, 6 April 2018

Can This Painting Be Saved?

  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"

Friday, 16 February 2018

Skating Pond

                                             Skating Pond,  oil and cold wax, 6 x 6"

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Mt. Helena with Winter Trees. oil on board, 6 x 6"

Friday, 19 January 2018

Changing up the Color

Helmsville Turnoff 2, pastel, 5 x 7"

I had painted this scene as a large oil last year and it just wasn't working.  I tried changing several things in the painting itself to no avail.  So this week I stared at it for a while,  looked at the notan pattern, the values,  the color scheme,  the drawing, etc, and decided to do some tiny studies in pastel exploring some possibilities that might solve the problems.  The pastel above keeps pretty close to the original colors of the scene, but I emphasized the amount of blues to add to the atmospheric effect.  

Contrast this pastel to the earlier blog post of Jan 17th. .(image below) For that study I really pushed the colors of sky and field for a version with more pizzazz.   The red of the paper was allowed to show through and the effect pretty potent.  They have very different moods. Which  do you prefer?

                                                               Helmsville Turnoff,  pastel, 5 x 7"

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

                                            Helmsville Turnoff,  pastel, 5 x 7", $125

Monday, 4 December 2017

Bay Islands Blue #6, oil on board, 6 x 6"