Saturday, October 02, 2010

Still Life Sequence

We have a grapevine that grows along the side of our garage. Most years, we get a frost before we actually get grapes, but this year the frost held off. I started this painting late in the afternoon under natural light, so I had to paint fast. I thought that you might enjoy seeing the sequence. This is painted on a gessoed panel. Jack made a batch of panels for me for Mother's Day. They are slightly absorbent.

I start very loosely, with big general shapes. So, in the first photo, the big blob could have been anything, but what I really saw was a big dark mass, or value shape, against the background. the following photos show how I worked into the mass, developing my forms. I generally work from my middle values, and with each pass I go a little lighter in the lights and darker in the shadows. The whole time I am drawing with the brush and trying to maintain an illusion of depth and bulk, as well as thinking about planes of light.

This is as far as I got today before the light faded. If I can get into the studio tomorrow, I will continue. When I set up the arrangement, I had grape leaves, but they wilted long before I got them in, so I will pick more and try to recreate what I originally envisioned.


Judy P. said...

Great demo- thanks for sharing. For your first couple of passes, do you avoid adding white? I try to because if I need to darken a small area later that white is tough to work on top of. Also I notice you have a general red-violet dominance throughout the painting, that I don't see viewing the actual set-up on the table. Is that part of your overall 'pitch' to a painting? Wish I was there!

Karen Winslow said...

Thank you, Judy. I do avoid using white at first. I start my paintings in the middle values and work my way towards my extremes (white & black), which would be my accents.

They way I pitched this painting is to ask myself what is the general background tone in relationship to my subject and forground. I am not really painting the "stuff", just the gerneral value relationships.