Thursday, December 2, 2010


7 x 5 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
Hi everyone! I'm back and it feels so good to paint these little guys again.  I've been busy getting ready for shows and commissions, finally it's calmed down and I'm able to dedicate more time to these paintings.  It was a little rough at first getting started with this painting since I've been out of the loop for a couple weeks.  After 20 minutes I felt like I never left it, I really enjoy painting these alla prima's.  It's so crucial for the development of one's technique, the more you practice the more you get to know your craft and the better you get.  
I was at the store and noticed this wonderful tangerine, its stems and leaves have so much character to them.  The way a leaf is positioned can easily say so much and also be so subtle.  Painting tangerines can be challenging due to the subtle shifts of oranges and yellows.  At the same time the lighter areas can be so much fun, you can play with the impasto's and be gestural.  
I started with my usual dry brush approach for the drawing stage using no medium.  After the drawing is done I stated the background using cerulean blue, naples yellow and titanium white.
Then I started with stem and leaves after the background was stated, I started with the darkest values first using ivory black, and viridian.  Then I added the middle values using cad. yellow with the mixtures for darker values.
Then I added highlights to the stem using titanium white, which where the final touches it needed.  I then started the tangerine with a different approach than usual.  I used raw umber, cad. orange, and cad. red light.  The difference with this approach is that I'm stating everything at once rather than taking each section to a finish.  I like painting this way it allows me to see how the chroma is affected by the value of  its neighbor.  Its good to jump back and forth with approaches and see what works for each painting, it's not good being content with one way all the time.
As you can see I jumped quite a bit from the last pic to this one, I essentially stated the colors in their corresponding areas.  Then I sculpted the lights and shadows to the desired look for each area.  After the tangerine was completed I moved onto the base using ivory black, burnt sienna, and cad. orange.  I started with the middle and darker values.
Then I added the lighter values and details to the base, this is the finished picture.  This tangerine was a lot of fun to paint, it feels good getting back to these alla prima paintings.  Doing these paintings is such good practice in every way, it teaches you what works and what doesn't when your pressed for time to finish these guys.  Doing these paintings teaches you so much, whatever you get from it you can apply it to your larger works of art.  I definitely recommend always doing alla prima paintings.  Thanks for stopping by and viewing, hope you enjoyed!  


Candace X. Moore said...

Nice, Jonathan. Lots of energy in the composition. And that demo is awesome. Glad your back.

droMan_9 said...

SweaT n i like It.