Saturday, March 14, 2015

Still life: The Chapati Press

I just completed a still life piece entitled The Chapati Press. I found out recently too that the Mexicans have a similar looking press for their tortillas!  3 weeks went by in a flash for this perishable piece.  

The 2014 movie The Hundred Foot Journey was the main inspiration behind this piece. The live-action movie reminded me of Pixar's Ratatouille. The theme was fairly simple - kitchen.  So I decided to sacrifice my chapati press to create the artwork. 

Music while working on this piece is mainly the soundtrack from the movie:

For a theme as broad as 'kitchen', I decided to focus on the compositional aspect of this piece instead.  The first thing that draws eyeballs to a painting is the visual - colour, design, shapes, etc.  It has nothing to do with the narrative or story.  It's all too easy to design a still life piece using stories. 

Using circles to unify the entire picture, the garlic, onion and lid of the press also form a solid triangle which gives us a sense of stability.  At the same time, the triangle keeps your eyes moving in an anti-clockwise direction, beginning with the bright red tomato, to the duller onion, and then up to the lid, bringing us down to the garlic and finally the flat breads shoot our eyes across and back to the tomato. 

Videos of the behind the scenes:

The Drawing Stage

Flat Colouring Stage

The set up kept evolving during the course of the whole painting.  From the relocation of my models to how the shadow of the lights would fall. It's always handy to have web-action hero Spidey to my rescue!  

 Final set-up taking the piece to a finish. 

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