Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Took a still life workshop with Roger Dale Brown recently.  I'll probably never make it as a still life painter, but everything we paint improves what we want to paint.   Roger had us painting at least 2 a day, finishing on the last day taking longer on  a complicated set up.
This one started life as another scene early in the week.   I used Ken Auster's  suggestion: when it doesn't work in the very first stage  START OVER.  Auster writes that in big letters on his video.    Rather than waste time fixing something that lost my interest, I scraped it all off.   Ever heard that scraping sound??  It can be a good thing.   I thought I'd take off more paint than scraping, so I sloshed oms on the canvas, then decided to just let it drip.     
Not wanting to lose time, I turned to another still life that seemed more interesting - this brass vase.   Using the drippy moist canvas I had just scraped down,  I slowly worked my way around the vase, just blocking darks and medium colors - no preliminary drawing.  Left the lights for last - the fun part.    Really - I was waiting for lunch (!), and just let my brain go on autopilot.     That sometimes works best for me - to just get out of the way and paint exactly what's in front of me, shape by shape.  
My other paintings were competent, but boring.   This whacky vase turned out to be my favorite.   The second photo shows what I did to it when I returned home = enriched and darkened the colors on the top so it seems to have more depth.    I also added a shadow on the left that you don't see in this photo.

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