I have always enjoyed working in a series. There is safety in numbers. If the first, second or third one doesn’t work out the fourth one probably will. The advantage is when a motif is repeated you familiarize yourself with all aspects of the form. You can feel confident that your knowledge puts you in a great advantage when you begin painting. I especially think it is helpful to draw first then paint. It is not always possible to do this but for me, especially when painting a still life the drawing really helps to understand the intricacies of the form and helps in planning a composition.
DRAWINGS OF A SUNFLOWER
DRAWINGS OF GARLIC The study on the left was set up by a window taking advantage of the natural light. the shadows are softer and airy. The second on the right was done using an artificial light . The values are harsher and more dramatic.
The painting was a direct result of the study. “Garlic study” Oil on linen panel (9 x 10 1/2)
Still keeping with the garlic theme I thought it would be interesting to add an onion. This onion is a bit overripe but I don’t mind, in fact the touch of green is a nice addition. “Onion and Garlic”. (8×12). oil on linen panel
Each stage of painting brings another level to the painting. This study is a combination of direct painting and indirect painting. Starting with a grisaille, scrubbing in a little color, continued addition of local color and continue to develop. At this stage I realize the forms have gone too “soft”, need to go back and accent the value to suggest form.
One last pass. I want to define the cloth more but without putting in too much detail. Do not want to take away from the drama of the lemons.
“Yellow Lemons in a Blue dish with a white cloth”. oil on linen panel (8 x 9 3/4)
I will probably continue painting more lemon studies but for now, this little study is finished. Even though I painted in stages not exactly a direct painting the result feels more like a quick study instead of a highly detailed and finished painting. I like it this way.