Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Work in Progress: Oranges and Pear

 I started this picture over the weekend after my wife asked me to pick some things up at the grocery store and I stumbled on the organges and the pear in the produce section.  I used my general process of a raw umber outline and then painting each piece of fruit individually before moving to the next, using no mediums.  I added in the background last.  I still have a bit to do on this one.  And unlike many of my other paintings, I did not, and have not, finished this painting in one setting. 

Here is a picture of what the painting looked like after my first 2 hours session:

I felt that the fruit looked flat.  I also abandoned the background cloth due to frustration.  I just could not seem to make it work.  During my second session (which took about an hour), I went back in and added some dark to the fruit to make them turn more.  I also played around with the cloth quite a bit to bring out some of the folds.  My problem is that I am having to do it all from memory, since the pear rotted and had to be thrown away. 

The main difference in the second session was that I did not use ivory black.  A friend of mine is constantly telling me to throw away my tube of black paint.  I took his advice (well, not literally), and instead of ivory black I used a mixture of burnt umber and prussian blue for my darks on the second pass.  I have to admit. I seem to be able to control the chroma of the paint much better with that mixture than I could with the straight black. 

I still have a bit of work to do.  I am not happy with the cloth.  To me it looks stiff and unnatural.  I plan to go back in and try to rework it some more.  I also need to touch up a few places on the fruit to make it stand out some (such as around the green stem on the first orange). 

I am thinking of trying to use mediums in my next painting.  I stumbled on the blog of Abbey Ryan this weekend (  I really like the way her paint seems so smooth and crisp.  She has a few videos on her website that show her using quite a bit of medium when she paints.  I think I will try that as well.  I will post the result  (good or bad). 

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