Saturday, July 30, 2011

White Onion

oil on linen panel, 6x6" / sold

How this painting will look framed:

White is often very difficult to paint, because white is not really white. There are many kinds of white.To make this white onion look three dimensional, I changed the temperature of the white. Look carefully. Notice where I warmed the white by adding some orange (cadmium orange) to make parts of the onion come forward. Look carefully again. Notice where I cooled the white to make parts of the onion recede.

I've been noticing that the main focus of my paintings have been food-fruits/vegetables. I realize fruits and vegetables have traditionally been the main focus of still life paintings, but I have an additional passion for food-I love to cook and bake. I find it extremely enjoyable to create new recipes and sometimes re-create something I've eaten at a restaurant.

So, to make the viewing of this painting even more enjoyable, may I suggest it be paired with some gazpacho soup!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Packham Pear

oil on linen panel/ 7x5" / unframed / sold

How this painting looks framed:

Quick, close your eyes! Now open them. What part of the pear do your eyes look at first after you open your eyes?

This painting is a good example of chiaroscuro and the use of edges to create a three dimensional-looking object on a two dimensional surface, a true abstraction. The pear's shadow and the background are kept in a close value range. If you squint your eyes, you'll see that the shadow of the pear and the dark background form one shape. Against this dark, is the light on the pear to which your eyes are drawn. 

The harder edge on the left side attracts your eyes to the light side. The highlight holds your eyes on the light and away from the left edge even though it's sharper than the right edge. The softer edge on the right, the shadow side helps the pear turn into the background. The right edge is found and then lost to create dimension. Also notice the shadow of the pear is very simply stated. The shadow is plain and transparent. There are no added layers of paint. This simple shadow helps the pear look three dimensional and to hold viewer's eye on the lit side of the pear, which has thicker paint.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Red Onion

oil on linen panel/ 6x6"/ unframed / sold

detail views:

How this painting looks framed:
I enjoyed painting this red onion as much as I like to use red onions in my cooking. Red onions add a natural sweetness to any recipe that calls for an onion. Its vibrant red-purple also adds a touch of color to salads.

The challenge was to make the red-purple vibrant and distinctively separate from the shadow. I wanted to keep your eyes on the light (the lit) part of the onion. To accomplish these two goals, I mixed alizarin crimson (a purple red) with cadmium orange light (an orange) to paint the lit part of the onion. To add dimension and to hold your eye, I then added the white highlight with a touch of ultramarine blue (to help it look extra white against the warm red-purple.

I hope you enjoy viewing this red onion as much as I enjoyed painting it. Now maybe I'll add some red onion to my curry chicken salad.