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I have been creating things since I was old enough to hold a pencil, a crayon or a needle. You may be surprised what you find here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A still life from scratch

A few days ago, I made a public comment, that I was going to devote the month of June to finishing paintings before I started any new ones. There is something about making a public statement that practically guarantees you will have to eat your words.

Not even 24 hours had passed before I was itching to start a new painting. Going back a bit, I had recently received two of my art magazines and had read a couple of interesting articles and had been inspired by some of the paintings. I really wanted to do a still life, and I wanted to do it from the beginning and do it right.

This meant playing with the objects until I found a pleasing arrangement. The above reference photo does not have the lighting I plan to use in the painting but I wanted to show what I was doing.

I plan to paint this slightly larger than life. I have been told and have read, that if you work out all your problems in a drawing it will be easier to paint. I love to paint large, but I hate to draw large, so my solution was to make a small scale drawing, roughly 8"x10" to work on proportions and the like. Once the drawing was done to my satisfaction, I had it enlarged so that I could transfer it onto my 18"x24" canvas. The canvas was treated with an additional layer of gesso, and the under painted with a mixture of yellow ochre and titanium white acrylic so that it would dry quickly. Then I could transfer the image. Once the image was on the canvas, I roughed in all the shapes with burnt sienna and am ready to set up my lights and begin painting tomorrow.

I don't feel bad or guilty about doing it this way, after all, I have done all the work myself and will still need to paint it. Although my husband occasionally refers to this method as 'paint by number' he has no concept of what is involved in mixing the paint or the challenges of getting the paint on the canvas the way you want it to look.

This is a painting I plan to take my time with. I think I have the skill set to get what I want when I am done. At some point in the future, you will find the finished painting here. But for now, future posts will continue to feature work done in the past.

I'd love to hear from you so please don't be shy.

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