Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Pumpkin Stem"

"Pumpkin Stem"
7 x 5 in 
Oil on Canvas Panel
I've been so busy lately with teaching and doing larger paintings, at times I literally feel like a chicken with its head cut off.  But with so much going on I'm glad I'm able to push myself further and get more done of what I want to do with my regular body of work.  These little alla prima's I consider to be a practice for me, I try to refine my technique as best as I can and explore different avenues as well.  My regular paintings have benefited so much due to these alla prima's, I recommend anybody to do these small paintings daily if they can and see how much you can benefit from it.
The stem of this little guy was to good no to painting, it gives so much character to an object that doesn't move.  I like revisiting these pumpkins because of their textures, they are pretty challenging to render but that's what draws me to it.  I've also noticed that I have been painting my recent alla primas with an orange and yellow palette, seems like the holiday season has been influencing my colors more that I would like to admit.  Either way those colors are challenging to control and glad I'm able to practice so much with them.
I started with the usual dry brush approach using no mediums and a bit of raw umber.  I was asked recently what mediums I use towards the end of my painting since I don't use any in the beginning, and the answer is I don't use any through out the painting.  I find I can achieve more with the paint straight out of the tube, and if you notice there's already medium in the tube with the paint.  Now with my larger paintings I use linseed oil to lift up sunken areas and work back into them, but I keep it to a minimum.  I know a lot of people that swear by mediums and can't work without them, which is not a bad thing if you know how to control them and properly mix them.  The problem occurs when you use to much which can lead to yellowing of your painting and cracking through time.  Like I said before I don't mind people that use mediums I even use some of it with my larger paintings, but keep it to a minimal don't depend on it for everything.  
Once the drawing is complete I state the background and wooden base with its general colors and big form modeling.
After the big form modeling is complete I start on smaller form modeling and break it in two sections, the first is the darker values with their specific forms.  Once that's complete I state the lighter values with their specific forms and highlights.  The colors I used for the background were ultramarine blue, naples yellow and titanium white.  For the base I used the same colors I did for the background in the lighter areas, then I used raw umber, burnt sienna, ivory black and
Once the base is complete I start on the pumpkin by stating the general colors and big form modeling, I'm only worried on how the light wraps around the form and not about details.  Once that's complete I start on smaller for modeling again breaking in two sections, starting with the darker values with their specific forms.  The colors I used for the pumpkin were, cad.yellow light, ivory black, raw umber and burnt sienna.  
Then I state the lighter values with their specific forms and highlights, doing this brings this area to a finish.  I start on the stem by just laying down viridian and ivory black, since its such a smaller area and the overall value is dark I can easily work into it afterwards.
I pick out the lights by using naples yellow, titanium white and ultramarine blue.  By doing this I take the painting to a finish!
Picture of my setup with the finished painting.

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