Tonight I worked on limes. I used a string that was a little less green this time, desaturating the Sap Green with Cadmium Orange in the lighter values and Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber in the darker values.
I’ve really been struggling with the fruit in this particular painting and I think the problem is the smooth Ampersand panel. The paint will stick when I first apply it, but if I ever touch the wet paint, it moves around and shows the Burnt Sienna of the underpainting. I didn’t have this problem with the last Lemon Lime painting which was on canvas.
The lime on the left took about two hours. After a coffee break, I painted the one on the right in 15 minutes. It’s not that I got faster – I got wiser and decided to stop while I was ahead and wait for the painting to dry before continuing.
I think I will need to put another layer of paint on all four pieces of fruit before I declare the painting finished. I also need to figure out how to make the fruit really sit on the table. My best idea at this point is to darken the shadows under the fruit.
I spent the afternoon painting two more lemons. The close up below shows my experiments with using more expressive brush strokes to harmonize with the white impasto.
Here’s the view from ten thousand feet. I’m pretty happy with the lemons, but want to darken the cast shadows a bit more under the lemons to create lost edges. The lemon on the right is problematic because it has a fairly light shadow, so I will probably have to add more reflected light to the lemon in lieu of darkening its shadow.
Every wonder what happens if you knock your Ampersand Gessobord off of your easel and it flies onto the floor? In my case the corner bent and the gesso and paint chipped off.
Next time I’ll try dropping a stretched canvas.
I’m always amazed at the way a painting just appears over time on the canvas. First the canvas is blank, then it looks like a drawing or a monochromatic painting, and then bit by bit it starts looking like a full color painting.
Finished another! This one is for the Maple Valley Arts event.
My first step was to flat-shade the shadow on the lime, using a mixture of colors from the dark end of the yellow string and the warm green string. I used a bit of paint from the blue string to blend and lose the bottom edge of the lime in its shadow. Same for the lemon.
Then I painted the lit portion of the lime, and then went back and added reflected blue light to the form shadow of the lime and the reflection of the lime in the lemon’s form shadow.
After a long run of citrus still life paintings, I decided to pull out some old landscape color studies and do a larger painting. Here’s the first study:
First study in green and yellow on a 6″ x 6″ Ampersand Panel.
I decided to base the larger painting on the second study which has an autumn palette.
Second study in yellow and violet, 9″ x 9″, on Frederix canvas pad.
Here’s the block in on a 20″ x 20″ stretched canvas. My goal was for the trees and bushes to pick up and emphasize the diagonals and counter-diagonals of the ridgeline.
Block in on 20″ x 20″ stretched canvas using water miscible Burnt Sienna, thinned with water.
The under painting was done with water miscible Duo Aqua Oils by Holbein. I thinned the paint with lots of water in order to just stain the canvas, but found that the paint didn’t stick very well. Fearing adhesion problems in the subsequent layers, I vigorously scrubbed the canvas to remove all surface paint so that the only remaining color was from the stained fibers of the canvas. Since this was just an under painting, I didn’t take great care in mixing the colors. My intention is that the colors will better match the second study. I am hoping to use broken color in the mountains and the sky.
Under painting used dilute mixtures of Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White, Cadmium Red, and French Ultramarine. When I was finished painting, I scrubbed the entire canvas with paper towels to remove all but a light stain. My intention is that the colors in the actual painting will look more like the those in the second study.
Mixing up warm and cool strings of greens for my limes.
My plan is to experiment more with broken color, so I have attempted arranged the strings so that adjacent colors have the same value. The warm string uses Sap Green and Cadmium Yellow Light. The cool string is based on Viridian and Cadmium Yellow Light, with a bit of French Ultramarine added to the darkest step.
This black and white photo shows that I was able to match the values pretty well in most of the steps, although the three steps above the darkest level could use some work.
Here’s the flyer for the Maple Valley Arts show. Each artist (or in my case, group of artists) creates 20 8″ x 8″ paintings that sell for $40 each. Looking forward to seeing the walls covered with hundreds of small, inexpensive paintings.
I painted a lemon this evening for my 8″ x 8″ piece for the Maple Valley Arts show. The painting itself went quickly and was much easier than painting front-lighted oranges which require very delicate gradations in the light.
I tried to match the value of the shadows in the lemon with the value of the adjacent blue shadow. They look pretty close now, so my next step will be to soften the edge between the two regions, while bringing some of the blue into the yellow. I will do this after painting the lime so that I can better judge how much “lime” light will bleed into the shadow on the lemon.
The bulk of my evening was spent mixing a string of nine yellows. The string is based primarily on a mixture of Cadmium Yellow Medium, desaturated and darkened with a blend of Quinacridone Magenta and French Ultramarine. The values above pure Cadmium Yellow Medium were lightened with a mixture of Titanium White and Cadmium Yellow Light, which is might lighter than Cadmium Yellow Medium. I did need to offset the cool greenishness of the Cadmium Yellow Light with just a smidgen of Quinacridone Magenta. The dark end of the scale is based mostly on a mixture of Burnt Umber and French Ultramarine.
Did some more work on my portrait study, tightening up the boundary between light and shadow, and adding more cool and warm paint. The shape of the eye and the hairline still need a bit of work. Then I will go in and very carefully paint the forms in the shadow area.
This piece uses water miscible Duo Aqua Oils by Holbein, which have a nice buttery texture, but for some reason are very shiny. I had a lot of trouble seeing the image through all of the reflections as I painted and taking this photo was even harder.