November 16, 2008

Apples and lace - Painting from life

Apples and lace - Sketch
Acrylics on Canvas, 12 * 16 inches
Copyright Nithya Swaminathan

While I was cleaning up my house, I found this little basket. I found it very interesting that I was compeled to use it in a set up. There were also 5 small apples that would fit inside my palm, and some laced cloth. I was playing around with some arrangements and zeroed in on this one.

I am painting this one on black for two reasons. The first reason is that the canvas was shelved coz it had a painting that really did not take off and I am painting this over that. So I have done a coat of black and started afresh. The other reason is that I want to experiment painting on black. I have never worked on a colored surface before, so doing this just as a break.

Apples and lace - stage 2 Acrylics on Canvas, 12 * 16 inches Copyright Nithya Swaminathan

I have first done the sketch directly with white paint, a rough outline. The sketch isn't perfect but I go ahead hoping to correct it while painting. I have then done a mid-tone filling for the apples and the background. This is my usual approach that I was taught by my teacher years ago. It always works fine for me, for any painting. I first do a filling in the mid tone, and then add details with the darker values. I add the lighter values in the end and highlights in the very end. The previous still life was the first time I worked from dark to light, and with this one I am going back to my usual approach. The green seen in the picture has nothing to do with this painting, it is the remnant of what was previously on this board.

Apples and Lace - Stage 3
Acrylics on Canvas, 12 * 16 inches
Copyright Nithya Swaminathan

I have then done the table and the basket again with a mid tone. The advantage of using a black base is that the darkest values can be easily established, and that adds a punch to the painting. The shadows of the apples here for instance, I have left them as it is. Ofcourse, I will be adding some lighter values. Same holds good for the shadows in between the lace, they have been left as it is for now.

The left most apple (to the viewer's eye) is looking like it is hanging in mid air, which is not the case. I will be correcting it as I go forward. This should be done in a couple of days and I am looking forward to it. After the decent attempt with the previous still life, I gained some confidence to work a little larger (with my set up that is), so this is 12 * 16 inches on canvas. Watch this space for more updates, and I promise really soon.


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