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?