Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Golden Pear

Golden Pear
DPW $96

    Here is another example of an analogous color scheme. I enjoy doing them, probably because the color harmony is built in. I have tried doing blue ones and violet ones, but I just cannot manage to like them. There is something about the golds and reds that makes me feel good. I guess they are my favorites, but I am sure a cool green or blue would be pleasant to look at if it is done right. In my efforts to develop, I must give them another try.
     (I did not do the Challenge this week. We had to paint a blue object. Mine turned out bad.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cherry with Stem

Cherry with Stem
DPW $60

     Here is just what I need for a daily painting. A simple subject and a simple color scheme. I really love setups like this because I can devote all my looking to the smallest variations in value and the tiniest detail. 
     I painted this and thought I was finished, but something kept bothering me about that highlight. Today I decided to look again and see what I could see. I found that the highlight was not bright enough and yet had very hard edges. I thought that was what I had seen in the cherry, but now I think I was wrong. I softened the edges and left some halo around a very bright spot for the highlight. Now I like it so much better.
     Simple setup does not mean simple work.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lily the Cat

DPW $216

     It is easy to see how ancient Egyptians could worship cats as gods. And I bet the ones they worshipped most were Abyssinians. This one lives here in Nevada County and was kind enough to say I could paint her picture. 
     In this painting I tried to get that upward turn of the head with the light coming from below, glowing on her beautiful fur. She is looking up and I wanted her eyes aimed at that interesting something, but one eye is dominant. That is usually the case. I still paint them at the same time, or else they might look they belong to different cats.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Persimmon Extreme

Persimmon Extreme
DPW $90

     These extreme rectangles are fun to do. Choose to place the subject at the top, bottom, left, or right. I love choices, but not too many. I have not chosen to place the subject in the middle, but if I did, I would then have the choice of horizontal or vertical. The possibilities!
     However you place a persimmon, you will have that fabulous orange color to paint. It can go from pale yellow to deep scarlet. And then there are those goofy little petals at the stem. I find them to be a challenge, but if you get them right, that fruit is none other than a persimmon even if you paint it blue.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sutter Creek Cow

Sutter Creek Cow
DPW $200

     Aren't cows cute?
     A girl can paint still life just so long before she needs something to look back at her. This cow gave me a good long look. California is full of cows who like to have their picture taken. 
     This painting is roughly rendered; did not fuss with it much, but I loved how the reddish coat went with the green background so easily, so I decided to just let it paint itself and let it be.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bowl of Red Fruit

Bowl of Red Fruit
DPW $170

     I have been painting many solo and trio fruits lately, and although there seems to be only three fruits in this picture, there are really six (you can see them if you look around) and one flower, plus bowl. So this is a much more complex composition for me.
     The "big idea" here was to make that front fuji stem part stand out. That meant making the apple to the right very dark. How do you make red really, really dark without losing the redness? I used alizarin and transparent iron oxide red--not dark enough. If I used viridian with alizarin, I could get that really dark, but I was afraid of muddying my pure red. 
     I finally knew I would have to use black, but which one? Ivory or Chromatic? I decided on Chromatic because it is transparent. Transparent paints recede and opaque paints advance. Since the dark is mainly on the turning side, I thought transparent would be the best choice.
     I try to find my answers in books, but sometimes I am just on my own, doing what I can with what I have.