Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Still Life: Banana

Tonight, decided to try something a little simpler than the flower... a banana. I'm extremely happy about the way that this turned out. Took about 2 hours, but, I achieved the results that I wanted.

First of all, I like the new table top that I created. Using the interchangeable table tops will definitely make my still life's more interesting. So, I took one of my yellowing bananas and just wanted to work on shape, plane shadow and reflection.

The first thing that I did was lay down the table colors as close as I could. I also drew the basic shape of the banana and laid down the three visible planes: top, side and bottom edge. Remembering two very important rules that Karen Winslow taught me: 1) Don't use greys to darken yellows... they only make them green. Instead, for bright yellow, use Cadmium yellow, for mid-tone yellow, use Yellow Ochre and for dark yellow, use Burnt Umber. So, I applied various layers of grey to those colors and was able to create the nice "old" banana feel.

So, after defining the basic layers (top, side, and bottom) of the banana, it was time to begin adding various levels of tones (by using different amounts of greys to my base color) and modeling the banana. I use a mixture of the table color with the darker banana base colors to create the reflections.

The second thing that I remembered was that everything reflects into others. So, for the base of the banana, I added a bit of the table color to show that the table reflected up into it. For the top of the banana, I added a hint of the wall color.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this painting. Now, onto another still life. It's all about practice.

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