Wednesday, August 18, 2010


5 x 7 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
It's been a while since I've painted lemons, I'm attracted to their textures and subtle colors.  The composition was fun to create as well, having both lemons appear as if they're teetering on the edge of the wood was challenging.  As expressed before textures are an attractive element to paint, they give these lemons so much character with such little force.
I started with the usual dry brush approach using no mediums and just a bit of raw umber on the brush.  After the drawing was established I started on the first lemon working on darker values, I used ivory black, cadmium red deep, cadmium orange, cadmium yellow light.  As stated in previous post I concentrate on each section and try to take it to a close finish, I have to put in lighter values in other areas in order to make the form turn and judge the total finish of that section.
Then I put in the lighter values using cadmium yellow light, titanium white, and viridian.  I'm constantly going back and forth from darker to lighter values, shifting chroma and hue in order for the form to turn and bring it to a finish.  Then I start on the second lemon doing the same approach as I did with the first and also using the same color mixtures.
These pictures show how I like to approach the lighter values of the lemon according to modeling the big form and smaller forms after.  The first picture shows the general lay in of chroma and hue, making sure the big form is turning and looks believable.  After the big form is turning I start ( As you can see on the second picture) to add the smaller forms or the details that lay in and work with the bigger form.  In order for these smaller forms to work the bigger form has to be right, when adding smaller forms I'm constantly aware of not loosing the turn of the form and the way the light's hitting it.  When one understands this concept of rendering forms it then makes it much easier to look at shapes and paint them.
I started on the base after the lemons were taking to a finish, using the same approach with the lemons starting on the darker values first.  I used ivory black, burnt sienna, and cadmium orange.  Then I added the lighter values using burnt sienna, cerulean blue, cadmium orange, and titanium white.
I added the background when the base was finished, I used a bit of cerulean blue, naples yellow, cadmium yellow light, and titanium white.  When painting these lemons I started to notice how important it is to understand how light effects the subject you'r painting.  It's a simple thing I learned when I was at the atelier in Florence and always am aware of it, but after this painting I can see that its something simple but very important to remember. My suggestion to anybody learning to draw and paint understand big and small form modeling, its crucial to understand how light affects an object.  Thanks for viewing my work and hope you enjoyed!  


ian said...

As always this is just beautiful Jonathan. I'm guessing you're building up quick a stack of daily paintings? I see that you sell some of them, do most of them sell?

Jesus Estevez said...

Very good Jonathan, you did a great job. Cheers

Artist Pamela Hunt Lee said...

Great question from Ian. Does e-bay work well for you?

Jonathan said...

Thanks everyone for your comments I appreciate them.

Ian to answer your question my alla prima studies mostly sell, the market out there is pretty unpredictable what people like so I don't even guess. I paint what catches my eye and for the most part has been selling really well. Ebay is a good tool to as well as Etsy.

DeVon said...

Hi Joathan,
Could share with me what brand of oil paints you use.