Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Tomato Colors"

"Tomato Colors"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
I really liked the color assortment of tomatoes they had at the grocery store, my eyes always go straight to the most colorful fruits and vegetables out on display.  Tomatoes are fun to paint with their smooth skin, their stems are also neat they have a gestural movement to them.  I noticed when painting these tomatoes how rich their colors are, especially with the orange one it has such deep colors from dark to light.  When arranging them I wanted to create a subtle movement between them while still representing their beauty.  
I started with the usual dry brush approach using no mediums and a bit of raw umber on the brush, I forgot to take a picture of the drawing stage I apologize for that but I think you can get the picture with these initial pics.  Then I stated the background and base with the general colors, the background can easily be taken to a completion since its just one passage.  The base in the other hand has its general colors stated first then I start to fill in the darker values and its specific forms.
I then add the lighter values and their specific forms and take the base to a finish.  After the base is complete I start on the first tomato, I first state the overall general colors not stating the lightest and darkest values.  Stating the general colors at first gives me a base to work with and it also lets me work on modeling the form.
I then state the darker values and when thats complete I add the lighter values and their specific forms.  I add the stem to the tomato when painting the lighter values, the stem is so small I just paint it one take.
I'm pretty comfortable with the level of completion with the first tomato and move onto the second one, I repeat the same process as I did with the first.  I state the general colors at first and just worry about modeling the big form.  Then I state the darker values and their specific forms.
Then I add the lighter values and their specific forms and take it to a finish.  I then start on the final tomato by repeating the process, state the general colors first and worry about big form modeling.  I make sure in this stage to not go to thick with the paints, I wanna have a nice thin film so I can easily build up the paints if need be.  I'm not saying its bad to go thick in the beginning because their artist who paint in that manner and it looks great, for my approach and technique I know it'll get muddy and uncontrollable if I go to thick. 
Then I add the lighter values of the third tomato and take it to a finish.  I approached this painting the same as I do with the other paintings, I did however decide to approach the tomatoes individually than to just paint them all at once like i've been doing with previous paintings.  I do like painting like this by paying attention to one section at a time and taking it to a finish.  Anthony Van Dyke painted like that and was considered the fastest painter in history, he was able to finish a portrait in five days.  I find if I'm able to concentrate in one section at a time then I do not have to go back and make any other corrections, and the painting goes by much quicker.  Thanks for stopping by I hope you enjoyed!


Karla said...

Terrific as always!

Judy P. said...

Hi Jonathan- great as always; I'm trying different painting methods these days, so I should expect to be confused. I'm glad you wrote about that, it helps to hear about comparisions.