Thursday, August 24, 2006
acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
Painting in the studio from life
Don't position the objects you want in a still life in a straight row unless it is part of a specific theme, such as a panoramic format. They will look like soldiers on parade. Rather, stagger them at variable positions Or if you really want them in a straight row, overlap them or paint them from an usual angle, such as straight on or from above.
Establish the large shapes and masses first, and their position on the canvas. Save detail for last.
You can work tentatively, slowly, at first, and gradually arrive at the shape and placement of your composition, if that makes you feel more comfortable.
When painting objects, try to discern their underlying geometric shape - an apple is a sphere, a bottle is a cylinder, a bowl is a half-sphere. Usually, objects are seen from slightly above, turning a circular plate into an ellipse. Try tolook at objects as shapes, masses, angles rather than as the objects they are. Work on the whole composition, rather than lingering in particular areas. In order to help integrate the objects and the space around them, try using a simple colored or
patterned fabric, placemat, etc. under them.
Before starting to paint, spend time studying your subject.
Notice that objects and surfaces are not all one color. There are shadows and highlights on them which cause variations of their local color.
Don't try to capture too much detail early in the painting.