Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Hachiya Persimmons"

"Hachiya Persimmons"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
These are I believe close relatives of the fuyu persimmons, I was very delighted to paint them when I saw how close they resembled each other.  The yellows and oranges are richly embedded in the skin giving it certain characteristic that is challenging and interesting to paint.  
Again I apologize for not being so consistent with my alla prima paintings, I'm in the middle of commissions and getting ready for a show.  I guess you can imagine how hectic things are becoming, which I prefer to be crazy busy and hectic than not be.  I don't like it when I neglect on my alla prima paintings, they've become a ritual where I have to do it in order to improve and warm up my technique.  It's a good ritual to have!   
I started with a dry brush approach using no mediums and just raw umber for the drawing stage.  After the drawing was established I filled in the background using cerulean, naples yellow, and titanium white.  
After the background was completed I moved on to the first persimmon, starting with the darkest values first.  I used cad. red light, cad. orange, ivory black,  and burnt umber.  When I'm applying these layers I start thin and build up to the desired opaqueness and look I'm going for.  When also starting thin you also get to control the intensity of the hue, if you start with to much paint it becomes harder to control the look of the color.  Then for the middle values I used cad. yellow light, burnt sienna, and cad. red light.  
For the lighter values or highlights I just added some titanium white to the middle value mixture and blended towards the lighter values.  Then I started on the stem of the persimmon, I used ivory black, viridian, cobalt blue, cad. yellow light, and titanium white.  I started with the darker values and moved onto the lighter ones.
I then started on the second persimmon using the same mixture and procedure as I did with the first one.  
After the stem was completed I moved on to the wooden base using ivory black, burnt sienna, and cerulean blue and titanium white.  I started with the cast shadows and moved onto the middle values of the upper base.
Then I added the lighter values and also proceeded to add the darkest areas of the base.  The last pic is the finished painting.  As stated before the smoothness of the skin and complex shifts of color, made it challenging to paint.  I kept jumping back and forth with the amount of paint I should start from the beginning and experimented how it looked in the end.  I noticed for my liking I prefer to start with minimal paint and build up to the desired look I'm going for.  Instead of starting with more paint and blending excessively to get the right look.  It's hard to explain but I feel I have more control of the outcome when I start really thin with the paints, rather than starting thicker.  

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