Sunday, November 3, 2019

Fresh Off the Vine

This painting is available, click to bid in the auction.

I wish I could say these tomatoes are fresh from the garden vine, but they’re fresh from the greenhouse vine. October isn’t the best time for fresh slicing tomatoes. However, I’ve found that these tomatoes from the supermarket that are still on the vine are decent enough.

A nice thing about tomato vines is the aroma they leave on your hands. It’s hard to describe what tomato vines smell like. To me, it smells like summer. If you see a weird guy in the produce section who smells his hands after picking out tomatoes, that would be me. They also leave green stains on your skin.

Anyway, I chose to paint these ‘maters on a blue background. The dark blue creates a nice contrast with the warm reds. At the bottom of the tomato, there’s a little bit of blue reflected onto the skin.

There’s not a lot of detail in this painting. You would think this would make it easier to paint, but it’s actually more difficult. That's because there are a lot of subtle colors in the tomatoes that you have to get right. Otherwise, it won't create the illusion of a sphere. Subtlety is difficult to capture with paint because there’s less room for error.

The fun part was painting the stems on top. I had to wait until the end to paint these because they overlap the red. They’re mostly a dark green but what makes them pop is the highlight color on the left.

For the background I used a bristle brush to add some subtle brushstrokes in the darker blue areas. Sometimes solid areas of color need variety. These variations can be in the color or in the texture, or both.

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