Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mandarin - Painting Step by Step


I have a favourite consignment store for finding the best props for my still lifes. This Asian inspired  set up is compliments of that store. The large red and gold plate and the gorgeous vase came together  perfectly with the bowl of mandarins and the floral branches from my garden.  I loved the simplicity of the set up and the way the round shape of the plate enveloped the pieces bringing a sense of serenity to the setting. The bowl was blue and white but I changed the colour to work with the other pieces.  


The block in stage, positioning the shapes and starting to define the values, although they aren't very defined in this photo.


I reached this point with the painting and then went to see a movie. When I came back I took one look at the painting and knew the center of the plate was not working the with rest of the painting. The center is actually convex, and when I painted it accordingly to how I saw it, the center appeared like a mystical orb, floating in the painting. It was all I looked at. So I scraped it off and painted it as a flat base to the plate, which was a great improvement. I then added a sprig of foliage to the table top beside the bowl. I also corrected the bowl which started tipping down on the right.
 
Mandarin  Oil  16 x 16

The mystical orb syndrome reminded me that although we have to paint what we see, we also need to interpret and change things for the good of the painting as a whole. I sometimes lose track of that in my effort to capture the subtle light on vessels etc. Luckily I saw the flaw quickly and was able to make the change. Do you ever commit too much to painting what you see and forget to look at the painting as a whole?
 
Share/Bookmark

6 comments:

  1. This is a great post claire. I like how you said we cannot be chained to what we see in the photo. So many artists think that if their work looks identical to the photo, theyve succeeded somehow, but that's not what realism is all about. Photos are not real life. You've reminded us that it is the artist's interpretation that really makes something come to life in a painting. Well said! (I love to go to the antique mall to get ideas for still lifes... but I usually end up buying the stuff I want to draw!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kathrine, I'm so glad you enjoyed my post. It was a real eye opener to see the painting with fresh eyes after the movie and instantly seeing the flaw that I had painted.It literally stopped the eye right there on this strange mystical orb, and you couldn't get past it. I had been so busy capturing the light and shadow of this one area that I wasn't seeing the painting as a whole as a whole. I usually paint from life, but whether it's from life or a photo, it was a good reminder to me that we always are responsible for putting the 'art' into the painting, otherwise we might as well take a photo. Thanks for taking the time to comment Katherine.

      Delete
  2. It's not only getting the right props..but the way you set it up is amazing!!!! You're such a pro, Claire! This is a gorgeous still life...!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hilda you are too kind! I'm so pleased that you like this painting, I'm very happy with it. I work full time as a Display Artist for a museum shop and spend a lot the day placing objects in pleasing compositions as I create displays, so I enjoy setting up my still life compositions as well.

      Delete
  3. Hello Claire,
    wonderful painting!
    A big hug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Antonio and a big hug back at you!

      Delete