Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Pickle Fork and Pickle

8" x 10" oil on linen panel

I enjoyed playing with the composition in this one.  

Translucency: the quality of allowing light to pass diffusely


Monday, March 08, 2010

Dipped in Chocolate

8" x 10" oil on linen panel

Strawberry and square shaped cinnamon marshmallow dipped in semi-sweet... mmmmm'!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Almond Roca

8" x 10" oil on linen panel

This still life was also painted in the homemade still life box as described in the previous post. I really like seeing the shadow shapes so clearly.

detail (1)

detail (2)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still Life Demo

Panetonne e caffè
10" x 8" oil on linen panel

These are the steps I took in painting this Italian delicacy called Panettone which is basically a small fruit cake. Enjoy!

Here's the set up. It's just a cardboard box with a small 'window' cut out of the top and the front face removed. This allows for great control over the lighting - especially the shadow shapes which are so important. Thanks to David Tanner for showing me how effective this is.

You can see the shadows are well defined here. Always choose a subject that interests you. I happen to be a fan of Italian fruit cake! The coffee was fresh brewed too! Choose objects which have a good contrast - like the white plates against the black - and the rich cake color against the white of the plate. You might also choose things which have emotional contrast or things which are thematically harmonious - you get the idea.

The drawing. Don't be too hasty here get the drawing right... Try to arrange the shapes on your canvas as interestingly as possible. Composition is so important!

There are so many ways to approach a painting. I chose a method which is popular among plein air painters: Laying in the darkest shadow shapes first.

Another approach is to put down the colors which are easiest to identify. That's what I did here. I purposefully kept the brushstrokes energetic here.

I went back the addressing the shadows here. In this lighting - these shadow areas are the richest in color.

Making progress... I'm starting to evaluate edges - hard vs. soft


Detail (1)

Detail (2)

Monday, January 04, 2010


8" x 10" oil on linen panel

Happy New Year everybody! I continue with my series of still lifes. I find that painting these as opposed to plein air landscapes really works with my schedule and family life. I'm able to set up somewhere in the house instead of going off into the garage studio to paint. I'm isolated enough from my family as it is. I usually throw down a piece of black velvet which absorbs much of the light and makes for a nice value contrast.

detail (1)

I even pulled out the quinacridone red for this one. It worked nicely for some of the cooler reds.