Here’s the objects that sit on the semi-permanent still life table (this set up has stayed quite a while). In the drawing below, they sit behind another temporary still life that I set up this week for a special purpose.
I like drawing and redrawing these objects. They form many a meditation on color and shape that I contemplate, pen in hand. Here’s some earlier iterations.
I get to know these objects by drawing them over and over. I will really know these objects well someday.
If you read this blog regularly you’ll recognize them from these drawings.
I discovered that the cloth I’m using in my still life in progress was turned wrong-side out when I originally set up the objects. I just assumed that I had arranged it with the right side up. So the colors are muted and I’ve decided to revert back to that original intention. I made the discover while drawing from a photo I have of the original set up. I was waiting in the car for my daughter and occupying the time with drawing when I looked closer at the picture and noticed the color differences. I made note of it in my diary at the time and remind myself here too! Meanwhile, back in the studio …
one still life is sitting in front of another, so I decided to draw them to pass the time and get warmed up for working. I think it’s amusing trying to untangle the jumble of things available to look at in drawings like these. If you care to join in, a photo of the jumble appears below:
Also got to thinking about the eye on the fish vase. It reminds me of a detail of a drawing that I made years ago (with some help from my daughter who was very young at the time). I want to do more with this eye when I get to the big painting. Not sure how that will go, but I note that it might prove interesting.
It reminds me of this, and I see an opportunity.
I have finished the first stage of my study for a painting that’s in the works. All the running design is there, which is the main passage that I’m wondering about. Having painted it once, I can contemplate better how its perspective ought to go. I won’t be approaching it scientifically — no point perspective for me — too much a recipe for headache for an innumerate like me.
Instead just seeing the pattern that I’ve painted, I’ll figure out something that I like, some version of what I see that fits together with the other components of the painting in question.
An earlier stage of this study appears below.
I don’t know why it’s so important for me to sneak up on my paintings, though I wanted some practice painting the elaborate cloth that rests on the table.
I get ideas along the way, some of which I’ll record here so that I’ll have a reminder I can access if perchance I forget what I was doing …. So the black in the design above I have varied a little using four mixtures — mars black & chrome green; mars black & quinacridone purple; yellow ochre & mars black; and mars black & thalo blue (red shade with some white). In each case it lightens and gives the black a chromatic base.
It’s hard as I paint the study (9 x 12 on Arches oil paper) to see all the color effects because the light in the room is rather low. So taking the picture outdoors to photograph it served a dual purpose: make a record of its progress and see what it actually looks like!
The pink part of the pattern is lighter than necessary. I decided to start light and adjust the color going forward. I might experiment with using glazes for some of the color adjustment — not sure yet.
In the actual painting another bottle sits next to this dark blue bottle. But that’s okay. One thing at a time. The other bottle has a hole in the center.
I have made additions to the watercolor of the blue bottle. And I’m having trouble with the paper, one that I bought for another purpose (an inexpensive student grade paper I meant to use as an experimental surface for pastel grounds). As a watercolor paper, its purported use, it becomes a cantankerously unpredictable. The colors don’t sink into the paper, but instead seem to float on top of the paper (which has to have been sized with something).
Anyway, I kept painting on the drawing just because. It’s practice for the oil painting that’s in the works. However, for the future watercolor studies, I’ll be using a different paper. No point in going to all the trouble with the study when the surface is so unreliable. No point in fighting with the paper.
The earlier version is below:
Began thinking about the blue vase on the patterned cloth that will feature in the still life I’m working on. Made a first pass in watercolor just to think about the shapes and colors.
Today I’m making an oil study of the fish vase and have just begun indicating the object that’s beside it — the frog tea pot. An earlier post showed the fish vase in watercolor and again in oil pastel. This time I’m using oil paint. Each medium helps one think about visual features in different ways.
All that plus they say that practice makes perfect.
I like looking at the changing lights across the surface of the vase.
An earlier version of this oil study looked like this:
This week is not our traditional Illustrator Saturday. The featured illustrator fell through, so I am bringing you this “How To” by master painter, Greg Manchess. Here is a little bit about him. After two years as a studio illustrator with Hellman Design Associated, Greg Manchess began a freelance Illustrations career in 1979. His illustrations have […]
via Illustrator Saturday – 10 Things… About Painting in Oils — Writing and Illustrating
Is even richer than we supposed … as Howard Oakley explains.
Founding Prof at Yale’s School of Fine Arts, he pioneered painting heavy industry, produced a superb series of European landscapes, and more.
via Into the Light: John Ferguson Weir, Yale’s founding father — The Eclectic Light Company
The green fish vase,
something that I found at the thrift shop, is a favorite object for me. I have been drawing it today in watercolor and oil pastel, making drawings for a painting. Green Fish Vase (I should call it GFV for short) has a prominent place in a still life I’m developing. These drawings are for practice and joy.
Both drawings are totally sloppy. I have been throwing color at this thing aggressively. I am thinking about shapes and colors, and I’m very untidy about it.
Both drawings are a little vague on the right hand side because in the painting something else will be sitting in front of Green Fish Vase. So the contour I draw here won’t actually find its way into the painting. But I like knowing the object well. The drawings are not just about the view in the painting. They are about this wonderful, clunky, imaginative vase of green glass in the shape of a fish.
The second drawing completes the notebook of the post prior. It uses the last sheet of paper.
I’m beginning an oil study today, June 25.
Looking for a notebook to draw in, I found this one whose contents I post below. I thought it would be fun to reproduce a notebook, at random, just as is. This notebook is 11 x 14 inches, Strathmore 400 series drawing paper, 24 sheets, medium texture, 80lb. The drawings are posted in the order in which they occur.
In almost all the drawings, I used the whole sheet.
Most of the drawings are made using oil pastel. One is colored pencil. The last drawing above, the sea shell, looks like it’s made using a special drawing pencil whose name escapes me.
Some of the drawings are studies for paintings. Some were made on the go, made while I was waiting for someone. Some are experiments, trying out an idea or a new motif (as with the transparent jar head).
I like to draw. I can guarantee you — regarding all these drawings — I was having fun.
Drawing some yesterday, planning future flower paintings — to take up the loose threads of paintings I began but never finished — and get new ideas for possible future works. I love making pen drawings as a way of dreaming about things. It helps me get acquainted with the objects. The smallness of scale makes me feel as though I enter another dimension through the pen lines. It’s a way of mentally moving among the objects.
Some objects need special consideration. The blue compotier will be empty and its interior spaces will need to carry a lot of weight alone.
I will draw it over and over. Each drawing helps me see it differently.
I was also inventing a still life in the notebook, adding things as I thought about them. It’s just an idea for something where yellow is the predominant color (as my written notes attest).
Then there was a little sketch for another idea that’s already on the back burner simmering. I day dream about this picture that I’ve written about before.