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Still Life Practice

Painting and drawing are about seeing; not looking.  My specialty is portraiture.  I can do posed portraits, but my favorite is the painting of someone doing what they love to do; gardening, cooking, reading, playing with their children, etc.  I love capturing the character, the person that lives just beneath the surface.

A still life, as I found with this one, can have life and personality, too.  I think this is how I might bring myself to enjoy working on them.  I’ve painted buildings, seeing that they have character and personality, reflecting the life that went on within.

This still life was done with objects that were all white.  The lesson was to see the shadows, edges, highlights, and spaces.  I didn’t want to do the project.  Once I got started, however, I got lost in it.  Even though the objects were white, they reflected color from the surrounding surfaces.  The background was a lavender cloth and the walls in the room were golden.  That was perfect, because it gave me the chance to experiment with complimentary colors.  Yellow and purple are opposites or compliments of one another.  I wanted to see what shades of each I could use together and pull it off, make it look harmonious, yet dramatic.  The objects, as laid out, did not really have a good composition, but I like the arrangement, none the less.

My favorite task is capturing dramatic shadows and highlights.  This project gave me that.

It was a simple, but enjoyable surprise.


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