Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wine and Cheese, step 7

Some words on drawing

If you compare this step to the one before, you'll note that the wine glasses and wine bottle are considerably shorter. I had been struggling with the drawing and the relative sizes of the items.

If you'll remember, I was struggling in the earlier steps too. I always use the sight-size method...placing the still life set-up next to my easel and comparing the two from eight feet away. I started to do this, but soon realized that I wanted to be closer to the set-up so that I could see more of the food. After all, this painting is about the wine and cheese on the table at a reception.

In retrospect, I should have lowered my set-up an inch or two so that from the eight foot distance, I could see more of the top of the table. However, that is easier said than done. So I didn't. I moved in closer, but I no longer could use the sight-size method. And this is where I ran into trouble. I got the wine glasses and wine bottle too large, but couldn't figure out why. The more I looked at the painting and at the set-up, I knew they were too large. The glasses were the size of water goblets!

I finally figured out a way to do a sight-size from this closer in viewpoint, which solved my drawing problem. It would be too involved to explain exactly what I did.

As I said above, I usually do the drawing sight-size, which is absolutely foolproof! I usually check my drawing like this, but then I will move the easel and sit down and paint. When I need to recheck the drawing, I move the easel back into position next to the set-up.

Once I got the glasses and bottle the correct size, I could deal with the flowers. Since it is so cold here in Maryland, I am keeping the flowers in the garage where it is about 40 degrees. I think they could last for weeks down there.

You'll notice that I have roughed in a different vase. The earlier one was too much the same size as the cheese, and that's boring. So this new one is taller, but I'm not convinced that this is the right one. I find the white is too much "in your face!" I'll try other vases.

Also notice that I have removed the thinking is that it is ugly clutter. I can always put it back in, if I can't figure out what to do with the empty space.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wine and Cheese, step 6

Painting the cheese and crackers

When I bought the cheese, I selected both Jarlsberg and Brie, since they were quite different. I chose the Jarlsberg because I really liked the large holes and the neat texture, which would be more interesting in the painting. Putting pepperoni between the cheese and crackers added some color to the cheese tray.

I had never painted these things before, so painting them was fun! After painting that day, we ate the Brie with some delicious crackers...not the ones in the painting. I had to save the Jarlsberg and the crackers in case I needed them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wine and Cheese, step 5

Painting the grapes and wine glasses

Even though I said I'd save the grapes to last, when I bought them they didn't look like they'd last very long. Using a combination of red and green grapes helps to move the colors around the painting. The red grapes were most interesting, because they were a variety of shades, from deep reds to near oranges.

Then I went on to paint the silver bowl...painting reflections is a lot of fun and gives a lot of interest and elegance to a painting.

I then refined the wine glasses, painting in the wine color first. Then I added the reflections and highlights, thinking of course that I was nearly done with them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wine and Cheese, step 4

Painting the painting and more revisions

I finished painting Andrei's painting on the wall, except for a few highlights, which I will do later.

I refined the wine glasses, checking the ellipses to make sure the stems were centered under the glass. I own a nifty clear gridded ruler 7" wide by 24" long that I use when cutting quilt fabrics. I laid this ruler over the wine bottle and wine glasses, lining up the grid lines so I could easily see what need to be corrected.

Those gremlins I mentioned earlier also messed up the corkscrew handle, so I had to redraw it. When the cloth is finished, I'll do the actual corkscrew with its interesting cast shadow.

I can't wait to get the absolutes painted so I can choose the grapes, flowers, cheese and crackers. I have never painted cheese and crackers, so I'll save them for last. For the flowers, I am thinking of alstromeria, which I've painted many times. It's a small flower and would work well in this situation, and all the florists this time of year carry it. If I find carnations, I might consider them instead. I've never painted carnations, so that would make my painting experience more fun.

Lastly, I substituted a silver dish to hold the grapes...reflective surfaces are more interesting and the silver elevates the level of elegance to this painting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wine and Cheese, step 3

Working back to front

I did decide to use Andrei's painting on the wall, so I enlarged it from the original which I own. This is in no way a copyright issue, since I am incorporating the image of his painting into my painting, not copying his painting to make another painting, which I would sign as my own.

After I roughed in his painting, I refined the frame with a multitude of parallel lines which define the moulding. But I still have more to go. Then I redrew the bottle again and developed the bottle top and the reflections in the glass. I love doing reflections...but I can't do the reflections of the flowers in the wine bottle, since I don't have the flowers yet.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wine and Cheese, step 2

Establishing some color

When I started this step and compared my drawing with the set-up, I swear some gremlins did a number on my drawing. I had to redraw a number of areas, in particular the wine bottle, which looked tipsy. I also redrew the cheese tray a number of times. The fact of the matter is that I must be in the exact same spot every time I compare my drawing to the set-up. Duh!

I wanted to establish some of the darker values...the wine in the glasses and in the bottle, plus the dark cloth. At one point, I wasn't sure I would put wine in all the glasses, but decided that I needed to move the color and the value around the painting for visual interest. Adding background color and cast shadows helps me visualize the overall values for the painting.

I like the way this is developing and am considering putting a painting of Andrei Kushnir's on the wall. I own a small one of his but I will have to enlarge it.