Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Italian Sundae"

"Italian Sundae"
8 x 6 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
I wanted to take a break from painting fruits and vegetables, figured this dessert was a good start.  I really enjoy passing the bakery isle in the grocery store it has so many goodies that are just great to look and eat at.  Out of the many times that i've passed it this time I could not walk away from this italian sundae.  From the presentation to the way the cherry just sits on top, almost like a bow sitting on a perfectly wrapped present.  To paint this dessert without eating it first was a challenge to say the least, temptation should of been the title to this painting.  
I started with the drawing stage by using a bit of raw umber on the brush and no mediums.  Once the drawing is complete I started with the cherry and cream part, I first painted the middle to darker values.  I start pretty thin at this stage to judge what type of texture I'm going for.  If it's a glossy look I want to put more paint on, if its a rougher feel I'm going for then I want minimal paint to start with.  Each section and area will have a different look and texture to them, the key is trying to figure it out with your brush.  
Then I painted in the lighter values and brought the area to a finish.  It's important to understand I don't move from an area until its completed, I put all my concentration to get it right in that stage so I don't have to go back.  I then move onto to the chocolate and cream area, first I lay in the middle to darker values.  Since this section is pretty soft in texture I want to start out with thin paints, I start out by laying my strokes very light in pressure almost like how one would draw with a pencil.  I like to slowly build to the texture and value I'm going for, I don't like to put the strong highlight or really deep dark first.  I prefer to gradually build the values first this allows me to control the transitions and textures.
Then I paint the darker darks and add more of the smaller form details.  After that stage is complete I paint the lighter values and bring this section to a finish.
I continue the process with the chocolate covered waffle top.  First just laying a thin application of paint to cover the areas I want it to be real thin and go a bit thicker where I want more contrast and focus.  Then I painted the darker darks with their specific forms, still being conscious of the pressure and amount of paint I'm using.  
I then brought this section to a finish by adding the lighter values.  For the bottom half of the waffle cone I repeated the process, this time I laid in a general color and did not go as thin as I was.  Since there's gonna be intricate lines I need a good base to paint on top of.  The paints I stated in this stage was to show how the light was moving across the form in a subtle way.
Then I added the middle to darker values with their specific forms, and did the same with the lighter values.  This area was tricky to paint because of the lines and how easy it can flatten the whole form if done wrong.  That's why I preferred to paint a base of the general color first so I can have the lines blending with the base in certain areas, it's easier to have it work with the overall form having the base there.
After that section was complete I stated the background and base, as you can see I added some of the chocolate chips on the base as well.  There's another topic I wanted to discuss with this painting that I was attentive from the beginning to end, it is "Edges".  Edges as I've mentioned before make or break your painting, from the outer edges of the subject or figure your painting to the edges within the brush strokes.  Having a soft and subtle edge from the beginning of laying the paints down can give me a soft look, I can then have a crispier edge in other areas which would create a great focus.  Experiment as much as you can with its properties and see how far you can push your paintings with it.  I hope you enjoyed this delicious dessert painting, thanks for stopping by and viewing.


Susan Roden said...

Decadent Jonathan!

Rosemary said...

Beautifully delicious! You are a man with will power! Thanks so very much for posting these works in progress and for the reminder to be attentive to edges!

Jeanette said...

I don't think this would make it to completion if it were my subject for a painting. I'd have to take a photo to finish from! :)

Lovely work as always.

Alexander said...

Hi, I do think we have a different approach to what is art and what is production, but I really really enjoy your "lessons" how to paint something. I really love to check out how you proceed and it is a very helpful lesson to me. Thank you

Scott Ruthven said...

Bravo Jonathan! I really like the ice cream and the hi-lights you put on it in the front center...really life like. Thanks for the demo.
Fins on the Fly

Latha Damle said...

This is just divine!

Peter Pascal said...

What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is
also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,

The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.