I made some drawings using Sennelier oil pastels and Neopastels to continue getting acquainted with my still life objects and with one potential arrangement of them for the table in the Big Painting. I just drew them as they appeared in an actual still life set up, which is slightly different from how they’ll appear in the painting. But being descriptive helps me get to know the things better. So I need some of that.
The blue field behind the objects now won’t appear in the Big Painting where they will be surrounded by the striped cloth on all sides.
Still figuring out the separation of the seashell from the flowers through which it’s seen — though that will be different in the final arrangement too where the seashell, if I include it, will be a little farther back and maybe seen slightly more from above …? Decisions, decisions.
There it is. The frog of the frog teapot seems always to be smiling. The teapot sits on the ledge, waiting. It’s going into the big painting too.
Another note to self. I want to remember to put the frog teapot on the imaginary table in Bonnard’s dining room at the Villa Castellamare in Arcachon. The whole right hand side of the table at present is empty. I was wondering what to put there. Remembered the frog teapot.
I’m also going to add some oranges — in the foreground — on the left.
Yesterday evening I worked more on the oil study for my painting in the works. Earlier versions of this oil study and of a watercolor of the same motif appear in earlier posts. The painting is 9 x 12 on Arches oil paper.
The idea for the particular colors in the cloth came from the watercolor version I did earlier. I liked the colors there and decided to use them here as well.
Now I need to transfer these ideas to the mysterious big painting in the works.
After working on a watercolor version of the two objects, I decided to do some more painting on a little oil study I made on paper. I made dramatic changes to the fish vase, and sometime soon I’ll have to work on the frog tea pot also.
All these recent pictures are studies for a painting — a large still life — that’s in the works.
Here’s a detail of the fish’s face and a similar passage from today’s watercolor.
I worked some more on today’s “morning coffee drawing. While the features are a little lopsided, the frog and flowers appear on the frog tea pot’s surfaces. And the fish vase gets darker. And I begin thinking about the pattern on the cloth a little. I posted an earlier version of the drawing already — the “morning coffee part.” Coffee was long over as I continued working on this watercolor into the afternoon.
I’m getting well acquainted with my still life objects.
I like looking at the accidental features of the watercolor marks in details such as these. And they suggest ideas for ways of portraying these objects in the large oil painting for which this watercolor is a study.
I think I might switch now to the oil study I began for the painting, and work more on the fish vase and frog tea pot in it — let some of the watercolor ideas spill into the oil study. This is how I left the oil study. Clearly there’s plenty more things that I can do with it.
I like switching back and forth between media, letting each one suggest things peculiar to its material character.
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: