Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Green still life

oil painting still life of green chilli peppers
This still life took me a little while to paint chiefly because it became monotonous Also, I had to keep taking breaks and blinking hard due to floating green lights in front of the eyes.

Here are the work-in-progress shots. I roughly drew out the shapes in charcoal, fixed them with W&N fixative, washed over some weak green acrylic then started in the top left hand corner and worked across and down
work-in-progress or WIP of green chilli pepper oil painting
The colours are mixed from ultramarine with cad yellow for the warmer greens (bottom of the palette shot above) and cad lemon for the cooler greens. The darks are created using Transparent Oxide Red and Alizarin - a bit of this, a bit of that - until it looks right. Some black too, for behind the chillis to create the illusion of depth.

It is, however, a very simple still life. One day I am going to be brave and tackle something much bigger and more complex. The masters of big, complex still life paintings, in my opinion, are the artists of the Dutch Golden Age, roughly this was the 17th century. Famous for its realism, Dutch Golden Age is also notable because it sub-divided into genres - still life, portraiture, landscape etc - and generally speaking steered clear of religious subjects.

This still life is by Adriaen van Utrecht (1599-1652) and I chose it chiefly because it includes animals thus making it  more appealing to me. I would describe this as your archetypal show-off painting. And, no, that is not a technical art critique term, although perhaps it should be.
Dutch golden age still life by Utrecht with animals

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