Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lemon and Blue Cloth

Oil on Canvas Board

I found a couple of hours last night to paint and thought this lemon would be a perfect subject.  This is my first "dark" painting, and it was tough at times.  The actual still life I used was not nearly this dark, so a lot of this painting is my imagining how the still life would look in low light.  Basically, I started by drawing in the lemon and cloth.  Usually I just use raw umber for the drawing stage.  However, I have found that using the raw umber gives me trouble when I am painting light colors, such as yellow and white (the brown of the umber makes my paint dirty, or, if I paint the picture in more than one sitting, I can't seem to cover the brown lines of my drawing).  Therefore, this time is just used lemon yellow and blue to give myself an outline of the picutre.  And unlike my general detailed drawing, I really just gave myself a few impressions of where I thought everything would go.  This let me deviate (quite substantially in some places) from my initial outline.

Once the drawing was finished, I blocked in the dark section of the lemon and the the more yellow areas, just to kind of anchor the painting.  All I did was state those values generally; there was not alot of blending.  From there, I added the darkest darks in the cloth with striaight ivory black.  At this point, the painting really looked like a zebra with a big yellow dot in the center. 

Once the darks were in place, I began working the cloth by blending cerulean (spelled wrong, I think)  blue into the black.  Once those middle values were added, I finshed the cloth by additing titanium white to create the highlight areas and show the curve of the cloth.  I really found myself working the whole cloth section at once, instead of working one area at a time to completion.

After the cloth was finished, I came back to the lemon.   I quickly realized that my values were a bit off, so I started working some lemon yellow into the darker areas really blending.  Once I was happy with the curve of the lemon, I went back and added the white highlights.  However, looking at the picture I am posting, I think I should have worked more white into the yellow before I added the straight white hilights to really make the lemon seem to curve.  Thanks for stopping by!

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