Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bartlett Pear

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

How this painting will look framed:

Bartlett Pear is an example of Chiaroscuro-light and shadow. There is a thin transparent shadow and a thick impasto for the lights in this painting. Everything in the painting except the light is background for the painting including the shadow in the pear. Squint your eyes. Everything except the light is the same value (degree of lightness or darkness) or close to the same value. This serves as a foil for the light falling on the nooks and crannies of the pear. This same concept would apply if I were painting a portrait. Try super-imposing a face onto the pear. Get the picture?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Japanese Eggplant

oil on linen on panel / 5x7" / unframed / sold

How this painting will look framed:

Japanese Eggplant is a departure from my paintings with darker backgrounds. This lighter background offsets this Japanese eggplant beautifully. I couldn't resist painting this perfectly shaped, fresh (notice the light green stem) eggplant. I won't tell you how long I stood in front of the eggplant display in the fruit and vegetable department of my local Chinese grocery store looking for this perfect eggplant!

The challenge was to paint the eggplant light enough using reflections and a highlight. Otherwise this lovely eggplant would be one solid purple mass! Notice the reflected light is part of the shadow. Since the reflected light is part of the shadow, it should be darker than any part of the light of the eggplant and lighter than any part of the shadow of the eggplant. Squint your eyes while looking at the eggplant. The purple of the eggplant near the highlight is lighter than the reflected light at the bottom of the eggplant closest to the wood.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Bosc Pear

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

How this painting will look framed:

In setting up my still life paintings, I often look for objects that are distinctive. The contrast of brilliant greens and the shimmer of pale red-orange in the brown attracted my eyes. I must have stood in front of the Bosc pear display for about a half hour before I found the right pear (I was wondering what the the other shoppers around me were thinking!). When I found it, I held it like it was a chunk of gold! Whatever I select to paint, must inspire me to want to paint it and to continue to inspire me to want paint it for days when it is a large painting. The colors of this Bosc pear served as such an inspiration.

The challenge was to maintain the same value (degree of lightness/darkness) in the lights while changing the color. Squint your eyes and look at the light (the left side) on the pear-some green and some pale red-orange. The colors are different, but the degree of lightness is still the same. 

In addition, notice the shadow (the right side) of the pear. It maintains its shape to make the pear look three-dimensional. This shape also helps me to see and gauge the size of the light shape on the left. I compare the size of the light/dark shapes as I paint. All this talk sounds very left brain, but looking at the shapes is a right brain function.