Monday, February 11, 2019

15 minute increments

When I work in pastel, I paint one painting at a time. My favorite method is paint it, photograph it, frame it, move on to the next one.

However, when I work in oil, it is slower for me not just because it is wet but because my color choices are more involved. I can't just reach for pastel stick in the hue closest to the color I am imagining. I have to mix the color, test it, maybe remix. Then, there is that wet thing. I like to let a painting sit for a day or two to dry a little and for me to distance myself emotionally from it so I can see it with fresh eyes.

I have one painting in progress, "Orange." While it is drying and I am thinking about it, I want to start a second still life. Here we go...I gather up objects: A dying flower arrangement, two slightly withered apples found in the refrigerator, a yellow cup, the new Trader Joe's tea towel with blue stripes and a garage sale muted green plate. I arrange these items next to my easel and turn on a spot light as well as the overhead LED track lighting you see reflected in the quartz counter surface. I take a photo of this (there it is, above). Then I crop the photo to the one you see below. That will be my reference to paint from in a couple days when the flowers are really dry and dead.

The photo reference for still life

Color study, pastel mini, 5.5 x 3.5 inches

But, before the flowers shatter and fall, I quickly paint a pastel mini color study to acquaint myself with the subject, color and value choices. I will use this mini pastel as a reference as I paint this still life in oil. The following images were taken in 15 minute increments (I found my timer).

Now I set it aside to dry a little. I look forward to coming back to it in a few days.

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