Thursday, March 4, 2010

Still Life: Shells and Rocks

This time, I decided that I wanted to try doing a harder setup. Essentially, I wanted to try my hand at painting more than one item and work on composition. I was looking around my house and found this shell and some rocks. So, I thought, that would be an interesting composition with a lot of shadows and overlapping shapes. Besides, this is good practice for painting rocks outside.

I'm pretty happy the way that it came out. I remembered what Jack Winslow taught me about rocks: Simplify them out to single planes and the dark areas between the rocks are not necessarily black. There is actual color in there... you just have to look hard.

The hardest part of this painting was establishing the white of the shell and the shadows on top of the rocks. Since my whitest white that I could use was Titanium white, that had to be saved for special areas. Therefore, I used one of my grey mixtures (Titantium white with a slight hint of black) and that worked out perfectly. The other hard part was to keep the shadows on the rocks consistent. I kept repeating to myself: Where's the light coming from? What's my darkest part of the still life? Where's the lightest part of the still life (Questions that Karen Winslow reminds me to ask every time I sit down for a painting). From there, everything was relative.

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