Monday, November 28, 2016

Persimmon trio

I picked up these persimmons yesterday. They are unusual for a supermarket batch in that they vary a lot in size, colour and shape. Some of them were yellow-ish and some almost close to red.
I never came across a persimmon until I moved to the US. They don't have persimmons back in the UK but they seem to be quite commonly available in the US in the fall. Autumn seems to be the season of orange, not just because of the leaves changing but for the abundance of orange fruit and squashes.

(8 x 8 inches)
20 x 20cm approx
Oil on gessobord panel

For this post I thought I'd include a couple of progress shots to show the original colour of the fruit. Hopefully I captured it.

Here's the fruit and the sketch on my easel. When sketching small paintings, I use yellow ochre. Some people use burnt umber but I find that too dark and I don't like that it can tint lighter colours. I don't tint my canvas either as a lot of artists do, for the same reason - I like to keep my colours un-tinted.

Here's the painting almost completed. I meant to photograph it half painted but forgot! Oh well, next time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tea Two Ways

 This painting was a total labour of love. It has been through a number of incarnations. 

When arranging the composition for this I couldn't decide on a background. I tried stripes, spots and coloured napkins. In the end I decided on a plain white tablecloth.
But then after I painted it, I decided that had been the wrong decision. The cups looked too much like they were sitting in space. So I reset the whole thing up again, with the cups on this delicate flower print cloth. I did make the cloth quite impressionistic as I didn't want the print to fight with the painted cups.

Painting lemons.
One thing I learned about lemons is that the colour of the inside of the fruit is not lemon! It actually leans slightly towards grey which was quite the revelation.  It took me many (many) attempts at mixing the colours before I was happy with them. In fact I could have gone much darker grey as they are in reality, but I didn't have the nerve to darken them up, and I wanted the lemons to still look 'fruity'.

(11 x 14 inches)
28 x 35.5cm
Oil on gessobord panel

Here's one of the earlier incarnations of this painting:

This painting is no longer available

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Strawberries and checkered cloth

This is my new favourite painting. I'm super happy with it even though I say so myself.
I started it yesterday and finished it this morning but I was very distracted painting it since today is election day in the US and I kept getting distracted by updates popping up on my phone, so I really lost track of the number of hours I actually spent on it.
Anyway, strawberries are my new favourite thing to paint and checkered cloth is my least favourite thing to paint.
I may continue with the strawberry theme for a while, since I have some other ideas for them.

(12 x 12 inches)
30 x 30cm
Oil on Gessobord

No longer for sale

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Strawberry love II

Another strawberry study - these two are both studies for a larger painting.
I painted this late last night - I think I started it about 11pm. I paint best first thing in the morning or late at night when the rest of the house has gone to bed.

I took a slightly different approach with painting the seeds in the shadows with this one. In the first painting I painted the seeds darker than the main shadow colour, then removed a little of the paint with a colour shaper - a colour shaper is a little tool shaped like a brush but with a rubber tip. It's good for removing tiny amounts of paint.
With this painting I just highlighted the seeds in shadow with a red mixed lighter than the dark shadow. Not sure which method works best? I kinda like both.

 (6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm
Oil on Gessobord panel.

This painting is no longer available

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Strawberry love.

This was an exercise in finding the right shades of red to paint strawberries.
The seeds were a bit of challenge too. The trick I think is not to try to paint all of the seeds.

My eldest daughter loves strawberries. I've been wanting to paint some strawberry studies for a long time, but every time I bring home a box full, they are instantly eaten. You have to be quick off the mark.

(6 x 6 inches)
15 x 15cm
Oil on Gessobord

This painting is now SOLD