Sunday, July 29, 2012

Painting Challenge Day 3

Day 3 setup

This was my setup for day 3, it burned out in the photo but that is a lemon slice hanging over the teacup. You can see a piece of scotch tape between the cup and the lemon, that was to keep the lemon from spinning. The silver carafe is from the The Willard Hotel, Washington, DC. It's not dated but has some years on it. There are great reflections in both the carafe and the cup and that was the focus of the painting.

Morning break

I took an early break in the morning when the canvas was covered. I like the abstract feel of this block in. You can see that the drawing of the carafe and the cup are not symmetrical here. The handles are off as well, that's enough saying what's wrong.

Midday break

Starting to get some of the great reflections in here. You can start to see how the colors of the table and background are showing up in the colors of the silver and blue. The lemon slice is thickly painted here because the background red and purple kept bleeding through. I should have wiped off the area before painting the lemon. Thick paint can be laid on dark wet paint and work but it makes things more difficult.

Late afternoon break

Great fun painting the silver carafe, correcting the drawing issues, some of the highlights are placed but not finished. More reflected light has been worked into the teacup. The lemon slice has even more paint at this point, should have scraped it off so I could bring it to conclusion with the rest of the painting.

End of day 3
"Lemon Aided", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8"x10"

Worked over the entire painting to pull it together. Warmed up the colors and refined all the drawing. Worked on the background and shadows. The yarn and lemon were the last things finished since they moved in and out of the volume of space surrounding the other objects. This was a fun day of painting, I wanted to use very expressive brushwork and let the painting pull together from about 5 feet away. Of course all my fellow painters will enjoy the painting from 2" away as well. Will have to evaluate the lemon slice at some point to see if it can be improved. Once again, clean up, critique, wine and prepare for the next day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Painting Challenge Day 2

Day 2 Setup

The morning of day two and this was my setup. I have really been inspired by all the rusty old tools handed down from my Stepfather in law Jack. I always start looking at the still life items we have in our studios and somehow seem to end up in garage picking through the rusty pile. Some of the construction elements are visible here, the thread keeping the bottle from falling and the Masonite shim under the pipe wrench handle. What you can't see in this photo is the large counterweight at the bottom keeping the whole thing from falling over. 

Even though I am posting a week apart, I did indeed start a new painting every morning.

Day 2 Early afternoon break
I worked many hours on this painting before I took this picture. The drawing and block in took a while to get correct. My values were way off and it wasn't looking good then Linda came in and pointed out the error of my ways. One of the perks of living with an amazing artist.

Day 2 End of day (Night)
"Art Deco Pipe Wrench", Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8"x10"

Warmed up the colors quite a bit from the earlier stage. Needed the warmth to contrast the cool of the dark blue glass. I'm happy with the way this turned out, I think the background could use some work if I work on it again. Finished later the second day than the first, cleaned up, critiqued and setup a new group of objects for day 3. Painted standing up for day 1 and 2, day 3's setup was lowered so I could work sitting down. Legs and feet really tired.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Painting challenge day 1

Day 1 Setup

As a still life artist the time to complete a painting is very flexible. Unless you're painting fish, cut fruit or cut flowers you can paint a setup over weeks. When I started going out plein air landscape painting I had a real challenge. How do I compose, set up equipment and paint a landscape in the few hours of ever changing light? My wife Linda Volrath and a good artist friend Sandra Corpora would organize plein air marathons and invite me along. Our marathons consist of two landscape painting sessions per day for 3, 4 or 5 days straight. At the end of every day we would line up the paintings and critique. By the end there were 20 to 30 paintings lined up. Quite an accomplishment. I decided to see if I could duplicate this with still life painting. I prepared and set aside a five day stretch to see what would happen. Of course the daily painting groups have been doing this for years, but I had never finished a still life in one day. My plan was to do simple setups and attempt a morning painting and an afternoon painting. I assembled the setup here for day one and realized it was not simple so one painting per day became the new goal.

First Break

After several hours of placing and blocking in, this is my progress at the mid-morning break.

Second break

Second break progress late afternoon. Things are roughly where they belong and refining color and drawing.

End of day 1
"V",  Steven J Parrish, Oil on Linen, 8" x 10"

End of day 1, exhausted. Stopped at around 9:30 pm. Adjusted color temperature, shadows, background and drawing.

When the painting dries I will determine if it needs any touch up to call it complete, but all in all it's at least 90% finished. Clean palette, brushes, drink a glass of wine and figure out a setup for day 2!