Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quiet Pleasures, step 4

The color underpainting

I spent a number of hours going over the entire underpainting with color. It is quite dark since I work from dark to light as the painting progresses.

There are several places where I lost the drawing, but since it is set up in my studio, I can redraw it easily. The wine bottle is a bit askew as is the wine glass.

I used burnt sienna and ultramarine blue for the background color as well as in the leather on the books. I made grays for the cloth with those same helps keep a good color harmony.

This is an important stage of the painting, where I can get an idea of color and values. But at least I can see where I am going. Going back to the set-up, I was concerned about getting enough color, particularly red, into the painting. Using the book with the decorated sides helps a lot.

I also have to remember that the lettering on the open book and the eye glasses will
fill some space.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quiet Pleasures, step 3

The underpainting

After I finished the drawing, I began the background using burnt sienna and ultramarine blue with a #6 filbert bristle brush. When done, I used a blending brush as demonstrated to smooth the surface.

Continuing on with the burnt sienna/ultramarine blue/liquin mixture, I proceeded to finish the dark and medium tones. I left the light areas on the book and cloth bare.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quiet Pleasures, step 2

Drawing with paint

Next, I have to replace the charcoal lines with paint lines. I don't want to mix the charcoal with the paint, so I very carefully wipe away a small segment of charcoal and quickly replace the line with paint. For this drawing, I am using a number 2 Monarch brush with burnt sienna and a little Liquin.

My rag is a piece of an old cotton knit shirt. I prefer the cotton fabric to paper towels as it is much more absorbent and I can use one rag for hours. It's easier on the trees too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quiet Pleasures, step 1

The sight-size setup and charcoal drawing

I placed my easel next to the set-up so that I can stand back about 8 feet while I am observing the set-up. Remembering what I saw, I then walk up to the easel and make my lines. In this way, I will draw accurately, always comparing the two. This is such an easy way to draw. The drawing needs to be identical to the set-up when I am finished.

Using soft vine charcoal, first I drew a line one quarter of an inch all the way around the edge of the canvas which indicates what the frame will cover. This will help keep the drawing from getting too close to the edge.

Then I lightly draw on the toned linen canvas measuring very carefully. For the purpose of simplifying the drawing, I have removed the red ribbon bookmark and the glasses and ignored the clothespin.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Quiet Pleasures

The set-up

For my one-person show in April, I will have many new landscape and still life paintings. Recently I finished a number of landscapes, but couldn't get focused on demonstrating one of them in this blog.

Now I have begun this still life painting, having acquired the antique books and glasses some months ago and am eager to paint them. A collection of wine bottles with interesting colors and labels is filling my shelves. Since I didn't have any wine bottle decanted, I filled the goblet with water and food coloring: a combination of blue and red. It looks convincing.

The open book didn't want to do exactly what I wanted, so temporarily it is held open with a clothespin. I love these low-tech fixes.

The red ribbon bookmark is a big question, as it doesn't make a lot of sense. However, I think there needs to be more color in the center of the painting. It would be nice if these antique books had color plates, but alas, color printing was in its infancy when these books were printed.