Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dark vs. Light

These are two very quick studies (yes I've moved on to the next fascinating member of the fruit world - the lemon) of the same still life. Both done on 4x6 panels and I spent less than an hour on each. The first is done on a light gray background, and the second is done on a black background.

The other difference is that the first one I sketched out with graphite and the second I painted directly on the canvas. I learned a lesson with this exercise - don't sketch with graphite, or at least heavy, dark graphite. It doesn't stay put on the canvas and when you add paint it blends and turns the colors muddy. I did kind of like how it showed through on the edges (like the cut lemon) so I might try sketching with a dark acrylic color just to see what happens. Acrylic dries really fast and won't bleed into the oil.

I like the composition of this, so I want to do a longer painting. I think I might like starting with the darker background - but I'm going to do one with a red toned background because I think that will give an interesting tone to the lemons and bowl.

The other thing I focused on here was holding to the tenet that I should put a paint stroke down and leave it - no blending if I can help it. I really have a hard time with that - but I was more successful on the second painting (dark background) - especially the bowl. I really like how that turned out.