Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tangerine Dream



This painting is still available.  Click this link to view the auction.

The glass bowl in this painting is another garage sale find. I have a storage shelf filled with glass bowls, vases, and other interesting objects that I can incorporate into my still life paintings.

I recently watched an episode of American Pickers and they were visiting the studio of a professional photographer. His studio was the size of a warehouse and it was packed with a variety of props and antique objects that he would use in his photographs.

If I'm not careful, I may end up with a large collection of props like this guy! One way that I avoid accumulating too many props is to donate them to charity when I'm done with them. Of course, if I'm photographing food, I can eat the props when I'm done.

I don't think most people realize the behind the scenes work that goes into a still life painting or photograph. Of course, you can use the objects in your house to create still life paintings. However, at some point you're going to need to expand beyond what you already have on hand.



Tangerine Dream
Acrylic on canvas
8"x10"
Occasionally, I'll luck out and find a still life already setup for me. I painted a vintage clock and other objects that people put out on display in their homes.

I took the photograph for this painting awhile ago, and I while I was working on the painting I was trying to figure out what type of orange it is.

With a little research I could identify it by it's shape. Even though I used tangerine in the title, it's actually a minneola.  They have skins that are thinner than navel oranges and they have a lot of juice in them.I like to have one these after I finish my lunch. It's a sweet dessert that's actually good for you.

I enjoy setting up these still life scenes and photographing them. Creating these little scenarios is like inventing my own little worlds. Some of them tell a story or provide a glimpse into everyday life.

This painting includes a couple of different effects that I like to paint. There's the transparency of the glass that creates interesting gradients and abstract shapes. The highlights on the glass are almost pure white. They're what makes the glass look shiny.

Then there's an interesting reflection in the glossy surface that's it's resting on. It's basically an upside down image of the glass itself. It can get confusing painting all of those shapes because they're abstract. It's easy to lose your place and paint a shape in the wrong location. I find that it helps to paint one shape, and then use that shape as a reference point.

Sometimes I'll invent colors for the backgrounds of my paintings, but in this instance I actually photographed it with a blue piece of paper behind it. The blue helps to set off the orange color of the minneola. 

When I first photographed this still life setup, I thought that I would paint the background with a smooth gradient. But I when I actually got around to painting it, I felt that it would be more interesting to allow the brushwork to show. It looks like it was painted without effort, however I had to go over it a couple of times to make it look that way.

I used dry brushing to highlight the texture of the canvas. This is where you drag the brush across the canvas at a low angle so the peaks of the canvas texture pull the paint off of the brush.

With any luck, you won't see me on a future episode of Pickers in my warehouse filled with still life material.

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