Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Anaheim Pepper"

"Anaheim Pepper"
5 x 7 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
I wanted to approach this painting in a flemish technique way, concentrating on the underpainting for the  most part.  I've been noticing if you get the underpainting done right,  the painting after goes very smoothly.  I decided to try this method with the Anaheim pepper, the colors mixing from one another made it intriguing to try.  With peppers I'm always attracted to the in between stage of its colors shifts, it's really neat seeing how these colors harmonize with each other.  
I started the drawing with a dry brush approach just using raw umber, I took the drawing stage further and put more of the middle to darker value shifts.  I did this to get the drawing and value shifts just right, this in turn makes the painting go much quicker and I can have more fun playing with the paints.  After the drawing is completed I started from the left of the pepper, I start with the middle to darker values.  The palette I'm using is viridian, cad. yellow, and cad. orange.  As you can see with the second picture the underpainting serves as a blue print for me to go over and match the values and shapes.  
I proceeded to add the darker tones by just using raw umber and ivory black.  Then I started to mix more of the lighter values into the middle values by just adding titanium white.  The more I was advancing with these sections the more I can add the smaller forms or details.  Remember always start thin and work up to the layers of thickness you're going for.  I personally like to go thin and get thicker in some areas especially the lights.  Staying thin with your paints also allows you to mix easier and have smooth transitions of values, once you understand this concept it gets easier to blend thicker paints.
After finishing the pepper I move onto the base working on the cast shadows and middle values.  The palette I use for this area is ivory black, raw umber, burnt sienna, cerulean blue and titanium white.  I first concentrate on the cast shadows going section by section and paying special attention to the edges that meet with the pepper.  Then I work on the base and try to get the light source right.  
After my darks are stated and I have the lights working right I go back into the lighter areas of the base and some of the darks as well, and add more details.  I don't wanna go overboard and get too detailed, this will take the attention away from the pepper.  After the base is completed I move onto the background by using cerulean blue, naples yellow, and titanium white.  I'm pleased with the results when finished, I liked doing the underpainting in the beginning.  It kept my guessing to a minimal and allowed me to have more fun playing with the paints, I definitely recommend you guys to try this way of painting.  Usually a flemish underpainting is with raw umber, ivory black, and lead white.  Those three allow you to get a wide range of values and complete the underpainting to a high degree of finish.  I experimented with this painting just using raw umber since it's an alla prima painting and the process is a bit quicker.  Thank you for dropping by and viewing, I hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.  Take care.


SEILER said...

Great painting Jonathan. Cool to see your steps, and crazy to see how many different palettes you used for one painting. Turned out great!

Barbara Pask said...

A perfect pepper. Love the little curved stem leading your eye back into the painting.

Judy P. said...

Jonathan, for the raw umber underpainting did you have to wait for it to dry first?
Love the highlighted dents!

Anonymous said...


Better than the real thing! Really loved the Anaheim painting. We are a non profit seed company - - part of a save-the-world non profit -
Am substituting your painting for the real thing in our seed listing. Hope this is OK. Gave full attrribution and your blog address.


Bill Bruneau