Sunday, April 26, 2015

Still Life: Spring Picnic

Spring Picnic
48cm x 38cm
Oil on Canvas
(This image shows a near to completed piece.)

Behind the Scenes
Setting up props for a still life set can take hours, days and even weeks. A good starting point as to go about having the idea is not to think of a narrative. "I would like to paint Grandma's sewing machine because it brings back wonderful memories for my mom" shouldn't be the way to start a still life project. One has to, in fact, think of the objects visually.  The first thing your audience sees would be the colours, then how the objects intertwine with each other.  Three seconds is all you have before your viewer decides to stay or walk away from your piece.

I began Spring Picnic with a traditional chinese thermal flask. The Clementines were in season at the local supermarket, and so were the plum branches at the flower truck parked outside school.  Slowly, an image of a typical Springtime scene in maybe China or Japan began to emerge. A schoolmate mentioned that the scene reminded her of her ice skating adventures in Canada. Go figure!! And thank you to another schoolmate from Japan who gave this piece its title!

To keep the Plum flowers alive, I attached wet cotton balls 
to the base of the branch and GLADly wrapped it.

The idea or gathering of items took three days. And the setting up, another 3 hours.  Here's the clip showing the set-up:

Drawing Stage
I spent about 3 hours getting the measurements for the main elements down.  Here is a sped-up clip of that session:

Dead Colouring phase is where a 2-tone colour is put in place.  
After which, I take the art to a full finish. 

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