Sunday, April 17, 2016

A dozen 'Happy' eggs.

(10 x 10 inches)
25 x 25cm approx
Oil on gessobord panel

These are literally branded 'happy eggs' - "from chickens free to roam outdoors on 5 acres of land", apparently!
They were ridiculously difficult to paint- so much subtle variation in hue and value. I resorted to using a filbert brush (a soft, flat rounded brush) for the majority of this painting as these eggs needed a soft edge. The checkered tablecloth was a lot trickier than I thought it would be too, especially when it came to painting the shadows. I will definitely use the tablecloth again though. I very much like this muted, soft pastel colour scheme. I have a million ideas for similar still life paintings using a similar scheme. I'm very happy with it, so the title is appropriate!

Before I started the painting I did a bit of research to see how other artists have handled the same subject matter. There are many artists who have painted this subject - but I was particularly struck by a painting by an artist called Henk Helmantel, a current, working Dutch artist. I don't know if he's all that well known internationally as I couldn't find an English website that featured his work, but wow, I love his stuff.

Heres one of his treatments of this subject which is called 'Witte kom met eieren' (White bowl with eggs): 
'Witte kom met eieren'
Henk Helmantel

Absolutely lovely, super-talented and very skilled.  It's a hyper-realist style which I love when other artists do it, but I don't aspire to be be able to paint like that myself. I prefer to be able to see some of the brushstrokes and I already fiddle with my paintings way too much.

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