Monday, May 7, 2012

Still Life Step by Step





This is a commission piece I recently completed. The commission request was to paint a section from another of my originals, capturing the essence of the image, but in a different format. The original was square and this one is long and narrow. I don't know how you feel about painting similar images in different formats, but I find it very challenging. Instead of enjoying the process and problem solving naturally, with spontaneity etc, I find that I keep asking myself, "how did I create that effect last time?" or "how did I mix that colour?" I decided to approach this painting slowly and to fight the urge to ask myself those kinds of questions. To force myself into a fresh approach.

 


 I painted my value study in Transparent Red Iron Oxide. I prefer this colour to Burnt Sienna for example, because it's transparent, and the light passes through it to the white of the canvas. Subsequent layers of other transparent colours such as Napthol Red and Hansa Yellow, again allow the light to pass through the paint to the white of the canvas, creating an inner glow in the peppers. 





 One thing that I found extremely difficult was the rounded edge of the colander. I used a grid to draw the image, capturing the turn of the bowl, and the proportions, instead of sketching loosely in paint and adjusting as I go. But during the painting process I inadvertently  made small adjustments to the edge of the bowl and kept changing the shape and losing the circle. Without the line continuum, I kept reading the shape incorrectly. I had to regrid in some areas twice during the painting process to get the shape back again.



In the end it was a lesson in both patience and persistence, and I was pleased with the outcome. But the biggest lesson on this one, was to see the painting with fresh eyes, and to not go where I'd already been, trying to second guess myself. It allowed me to experiment, improve on the outcome, and most importantly, to find the joy of painting the image a second time, as if it was the first. And that was a well learned lesson for me. How do you handle commissions and requests to paint a similar image in a different format?

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11 comments:

  1. Un merveilleux travail... Quelle patience de refaire une pièce de puzzle de l'une de vos oeuvres... Effectivement on doit avoir du mal à ne pas essayer de se souvenir...
    J'aime voir l'évolution de votre travail. C'est vraiment très intéressant.
    Gros bisous

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  2. Merci Martine! It's always a pleasure to hear your well thought out comments.

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  3. Wow, Claire,great to see this process, your building of values and color has really created a dynamic work! Love this:)

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    1. Thanks Mary, I appreciate your kind words.

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  4. Amazing painting, Claire! My first reaction was "Wow"...and I love to see the process..I learn so much from it...again, wonderful!!!!

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    1. Hilda you are so kind! Thanks very much for you kind comments.

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  5. Hello Claire,
    what a beautiful job! The process is totally dominated! Parabés teacher and a big hug

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    1. Thanks Antonio! And a big hug back at you!

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  6. Beautiful! Love seeing the process.

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  7. Amazing! I think only a talented artist, such as yourself could complete this assignment with such success. Thank you for sharing with us.

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