Sunday, January 20, 2008

Painting a Still Life

Eggplant Parmesan
7 x 10 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa

I decided this morning that I haven't painted from life in a long time. In an attempt to remedy that, I pulled a few things out of the refrigerator that will become tomorrow's dinner. I have trouble setting up still lifes for myself. I have to try and think about darks and lights and how they will move the viewer through the picture. I have to remember balance in composition. I remember when I first started painting still lifes, my instructor tried not to laugh when I centered the entire set up on my paper. Far be it for me to fill the paper. I would look at the others during critique time and admire the way people had some things going off the edge. I would, however, do the same thing the next week. I just didn't get how to do it. One of the best things about practicing my art is the way my vision has improved. I see things in different ways now.

As for this painting, I tried a couple of interesting things to draw the viewers eye to the eggplant. First, I made sure I put all the detail I saw in it. It doesn't show up well in the photo, but the red of the tomato is reflected on the side of the eggplant. Another thing I did was to soften up the edges of the other elements, except the bottle which I thought would help draw the eye down. My light source was almost directly overhead, thus no shadow on the back wall from the bottle. That would have been fun, but I couldn't pull it off in this one.

Take a look at Gurney Journey for today. He has a very interesting discussion about the color of moonlight.

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