Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Completed Oil Still Life with Progress Photos

Oranges, Pear, and Eucalyptus, (Only Just Begun),oil on panel, 16 x 20, copyright 2009 Pat Aube Gray

Oranges, Pear and Eucalyptus, (Almost There), 16 x 20, oil on Panel

Oranges, Pear, and Eucalyptus, oil on panel, 16 x 20, copyright 2009 Pat Aube Gray

This painting was started in April the week that Charles Walls was a guest instructor in my teaching studio. This was the first painting I had ever done on Ampersand's gessoed panel and I absolutely LOVED the surface! I only got as far as somewhere between the first and second photos that week, and worked on it many more hours than I thought I would have to in the following months! But I was very happy with the finished painting, which was sold before I finished it! I just love it when that happens!

Because the surface of the panel is relatively smooth (do not confuse this surface with Ampersand's clayboard surface or much earlier version of this panel), toning it first helps give the paint a little more to grab hold of. As you can see in the first photo, the background, for example, is still rather transparent. There are a few more layers on the final version, but the luster of the finished painting is wonderful! (I used M. Graham's walnut alkyd medium, which also adds to the quality of the finished surface.)

You might note that there is a fourth branch of eucalyptus in the finished work. The actual set-up contained only three, but the space between the eucalyptus and the highly lit pear really bothered me. It was as if there were no connection between it and the remainder of the subject matter and tended to lead the eye up and out of the picture plane. Adding the fourth, rightmost branch, directed at the pear and catching some of the light, helped to tie it all together nicely. As artists, we must continually reassess the painting in and of itself, regardless of what the actual source displays. However, I must admit that a more thorough assessment of the set-up in the first place may have revealed this shortcoming!

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