Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Painting for my daughter

Resuming the journey after surviving more than a week without my laptop. Did not have much inspiration to start a new painting since this last piece. So I will just do a self-critique.
The backdrop
My first apprenhension while setting up this still life was the backdrop which is actually a silk cushion cover draped over a wooden photo frame. It did not turn out too badly as I somehow figured out that I could use the fan-shaped brush to blend the dark and light red and highlight parts of it with some cadmium orange and alizrin red mixture. I enjoyed this part because I really did not think that I would have been able to bring out the softness of the folds.
The glass textures
I wasn't sure if I could handle the transparency of glass in all the three items well enough to make the items appear real. It took me quite a while to study the outlines and reflections before figuring out where to use payne's grey with titanium white for the outline and how much of white and alizarin and another deeper red to use for the reflective parts of the glass.
The Cherries
The two cherries started to show signs of exposure to the humidity two days in a row and I made sure I painted them before they shrivelled.
The cork
The one item that I felt I had painted most artistically in terms of the use of colour to create a 3-D effect. I like it for the stained wine effect and the absence of lines and I recall that I was just painting through my reflexes rather than through analytical thinking. I think my greatest flaw is that I tend to analyse too much and then in trying to replicate what I thought I saw, I grew increasingly frustrated when every stroke ended up rather stilted -eg. the candle that had tiny green fruits preserved in some kind of gel - not my favourite part of the painting.
The wine in the glass
It wasn't real wine as we have drunk every drop from the bottle. My daughter suggested simulating the wine with Ribena and that worked perfectly fine.
The bamboo mat
I could have given it more detail but thought that it might be too distracting. I think I have given enough hint as to what texture it might be just leaving it as it is after doing the tones and shades and tints.
The changing light of day
At the first painting over one weekend, I made mistake with the wine glass as anticipated and had to erase it completely. My second attempt over the next weekend was better and the touching up at the third painting session led to the final representation here. My most difficult moments were having to deal with the varying light throughout the course of the day's painting. Finally, I decided to paint one weekday night for at least with the florescent light, shadows, tones and shades remained constant throughout.

Just a practice piece but I am glad that I have made some progress.

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