Friday, October 15, 2010

"Chinese Eggplants"

"Chinese Eggplant"
7 x 5 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
I found these guys at the local whole foods store and was intrigued by there unique shape.  There long stem and round body made it appealing to paint.  They also have green veins along the skin of the eggplant which made it a challenge to paint.  Creating this balancing composition was very challenging and had to really paint quick to capture it before it fell.
I started with a dry brush approach a bit of raw umber on the brush and no mediums to establish the drawing.  Then I added the shadows to the first eggplant and bit of the middle values.  I used ivory black, viridian, cad. yellow and cobalt blue.  As you can see with the picture I apply the paints in a very thin manner when starting the application, this allows me to control each layer that I add on after that.  
Then I added the middle and lighter values, I used titanium and cad. yellow mixed in with the palette I used for the darker values.  I used the same palette and approach to the stem of the eggplant.  When adding lighter values to the eggplant I'm constantly aware of its edges, softening certain edges and hardening others.  
After adding the highlights to the stem I proceeded and started with the second eggplant.  I started on the darkest values first since I use the white of canvas to judge my lightest lights.  I used the same palette as I did with the first eggplant.  Shadow values are subtle and difficult to paint, they have slight variations between one value to the other.  The paint is really thin in the shadows which makes it a challenge to keep its constancy thin and not go too thick.
Then I added the middle values and this time instead of adding the veins in at the same time, I decided to just do big form modeling.  I used titanium white, naples yellow, and viridian.  After the form was turning I added the veins and its highlights.  I liked approaching it in this manner I do prefer the other way in adding it all at the same time in thin layers, this allows me to control the consistency of paints.  When doing the big form modeling first I noticed that I get a wet look to the paints that at times I don't prefer.  I like to create different looks with the paints and be able to control that aspect of painting.
Then I added the darkest values of the base by using ivory black, burnt sienna, and cad. orange.  For the lighter values of the base I used burnt sienna, cerulean, and titanium white.  
This is the finished picture, I added the background and softened the edges of the base and eggplants.  I used cerulean blue, naples yellow, and titanium white.  I enjoyed this finishing stage, I was able to push the edges further to bring some areas towards the background and push others forward.  I'm constantly playing with the edges in these paintings, its crazy to see how important they are to the success of the painting.  Thanks for stopping by and viewing, hope you enjoyed!


Paintings by Patricia said...

Fantastic. What great shapes, really like the twisty stems and the composition.

Carol Blackburn said...

Quite different!

Judy P. said...

I especially love the spare background color, it enhances the cool, sculptural look of the vegies and block. Clean, modern and a bit Oriental!

SEILER said...

Nice man. How'd you get them to stay like that?