At Their Place

This week I spent a lot of time thinking about the still life paintings I have been making. I want to eventually start submitting them to galleries, and I need some way to bring them together into a cohesive group. Eventually, I decided on the project title of “At Their Place.” Because I currently live with my parents, all the items I have been using in my still life paintings have been things I found around their house. My paintings give an inside look into the objects my parents collect, use daily, and hold dear.

For the first painting of the week, I used a vase of flowers my father bought for my mother.

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Instead of doing a sketch and an underpainting, I went straight into blocking out colors.

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I attacked the watering can first, wanting to establish the bright pinks.

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Then I added the darks in the leaves.

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With my first go through of the flowers I wound up keeping everything gently subdued. I liked the way it turned out and debated keeping it that way. In the end, I gave it two more painting sessions.

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Almost done at this point.

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And here is my studio setup. I’ve enjoyed painting in this manner the most so far.

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After the flower still life, I got to work on another teapot painting.

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Once again, I skipped a drawing and just blocked out colors. I’m trying to improve my speed.

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To contrast the yellow of the pot, I built up the rest of the painting with white objects. This wound up challenging my mixing skills.

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I tried to use larger blocks of color for the teapot.

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The differences in warms and cools was very slight and I had to focus on exaggerating them in order to give the painting the necessary depth.

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As I gathered speed in the painting, I found myself laying down thicker slabs of paint. I’ve been moving away from this style in my other paintings, but it was refreshing to step sideways and do that again. I’m still developing my technique as a painter, and I’m figuring out when to go heavy and when to go thin and light.
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My final session was a quick one. I defined the objects more precisely and refined loose areas.

I’m really enjoying the direction I’m taking my oil paintings. Still life paintings give me an opportunity to explore techniques while still developing a body of work that is artful and marketable. The 9″ x 12″ canvas size has helped me work on speed and step away from detail and work more towards general shapes. With these two done, I’ve already set up my next still life and I’m looking forward to getting into it.

So, just like last week, I was also working digitally every night. I spent no more than two hours on each piece and pushed to get them as complete as possible in the time limit.

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My first drawing was the quickest. I just wanted to get something out before going to bed. I used user RHINOHORNINMYBUMHOLE’s photo for reference.

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Because I am still new to painting digitally, I have been trying different styles and techniques. I also downloaded several sets of brushes. I used user Part_Time_Terrorist’s photo for reference here.

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Last year I did a couple self-portraits in a cubist-like style. I tried to replicate that with photoshop while using user Darksideofmycat’s photo for reference.

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Then because I was tired of drawing people, I searched through the pet photos to find one I liked. I settled on user chocojuice’s photo. It was during this piece that I found several brushes I liked. I wound up using them for the next two paintings as well.

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Because there are so many users on reddit, I often have to sift through many mediocre photo submissions. Once in a while I find a picture that really strikes me. That was how I felt when I saw user ckxcore’s photo.

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Finally, I finished with user haminacann’s photo.

With only two hours to do each digital piece, I often struggled to get an exact likeness. However, I limit myself with time in order to increase my speed. I figure I can only get better by forcing myself through restraints.

Now it’s time to get back to working on my next still life.

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