Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Blood Oranges"

"Blood Oranges"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
Blood oranges are so beautiful in the way colors bleed from one to the other.  I wanted to also accentuate the reds with the red cloth and give the painting a bit more umph, the gradation of yellow to orange are intriguing to me as well to paint.  Painting red cloth can get tricky, one has to be careful the reds can get to pink when going lighter in value.  Incorporating red cloth into a still life was one of our first still life assignments when I studied at the Angel Academy in Florence, it's great practice when trying to tackle on so much red at one time.
I started again with a raw umber underpainting, I don't use any mediums I just use raw umber very thinly.  As soon as i'm done with the underpainting I start right away with the painting, I start with the first blood orange on the right.  Doing the underpainting creates a film of thin paint that acts as a couch for the main painting.  The colors I used for this area is naphthal red, cad. red light, ultramarine blue, burnt umber, cad. yellow, and cad. orange.  For the first blood orange I decide to paint the main keys first by forming the bigger forms first.  Thinking of big form modeling when applying the paints at this stage and not so much of the details.
I do the same application to the other blood oranges, I do this to take them to a finish at the same time.  After the forms turning and the colors are working right I go back to the darker values and shadows and take them to a finish.  I also add some reflected light in certain areas.
Once the darker values are completed I move onto the middle to lighter values and start narrowing down to the smaller forms or the details.  For the highlights I just apply titanium white and work them into the middle lighter values.  Through out this painting I'm constantly walking back and forth to my painting, you can never judge the painting up close you have to stand about two feet away from it to get an accurate look.  I strongly recommend you guys to do this it forces you to stand back from your painting, if your constantly up close to your painting your more and likely going to overwork certain areas and not realize it.  
After the blood oranges are completed I move onto the red cloth by adding the middle to darker values.  I try to preserve the white of the canvas for the lightest areas of the cloth.  For this area I use naphthal red, cad. red light, ultramarine blue, and burnt umber.  Then I add the lighter values of the cloth and mesh the darker values with the middle to lighter values.
After the cloth is complete I add the wooden base by using ultramarine blue, burnt umber, cad. orange, cerulean, and titanium white.
For the background I used cerulean blue, naples yellow, and titanium white.  By this stage I'm able to go around the whole painting while adding the background and soften certain edges.  Doing this brings the painting to finished look and completes the whole process.  It was fun revisiting the red cloth and playing around with its folds.  I hope to compose more paintings in the future in the same manner.  Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this one.

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