Monday, September 16, 2013

Beginning a new Still Life


I love to relax and read so I thought I'd do a little painting about this.

I typically start my paintings direct from the set up I arrange by using paint and brush to draw onto the canvas. It has served me well, and I am able to make adjustments as needed at this stage because the oils are somewhat forgiving that way. But there is a downside to this as you will read below.

I wanted to practice my drawing because it is not only good for my skills in general, but drawing is also relaxing and fun for me, and it assists in working out some of the inevitable problems of an arrangement that usually show up while working on the painting when it is more difficult to make changes. Instead of investing a couple of hours on the painting figuring out my lay in, doing a charcoal or pencil study can be more efficient and not feel so 'expensive' when I am not satisfied with the result.

So this little charcoal drawing is just that - a prelim-study (more than a thumbnail sketch). After all, the masters did it that way, so who am I to argue. Just think of the patience and effort they put into their masterpieces! 

Still Life Study
10 x 10 Charcoal on Newsprint
© 2013
As I look at the study, I think it needs some breathing room rather than clustering all the objects so closely together. I can do this by adjusting the set up now before beginning the actual painting. I also think I'll use different candles - maybe one used candle would be better, and a wine glass to bring another human element to the set up.

You can see my marks for the 'notional space' of the objects and a border area beyond it. I like to do this to see what my canvas size will be, and if I need to make adjustments. The changes I'm anticipating will also likely change the format from squarish to a more horizontal rectangle. I will plan to post an intermediate stage for the painting after the changes.

BTW, as a side note, I started reading The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed. There are technical aspects and examples in this read, but there are also some unexpected concepts as well, and I recommend it. A quote from the book's content...

'Art is the expression of the invisible by means of the visible.' Eugene Fromentin

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