There are some truly tricky and subtle oranges going on in cantaloupe. I suspected as much, but I'm not sure I've tried this subject before - at least not in color!
As you can see, I threw pretty much everything-but-the-kitchen-sink at it, warm-color-wise: clockwise from bottom left - yellow ochre, hansa yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange, titanium white, cadmium red light, cadmium red, alizarin crimson. That's a lot of tubes, for this limited palette girl! (The blues are cerulean, ultramarine, and ivory black, in case you're curious).
If there's one thing I say over and over again to my students, it's this: you can paint something any color you want, as long as you nail the value, it will work!
The single most important element of realistic representational painting is value: how light or dark something is on the gray scale. And that's relative to everything else in the painting - so our goal as painters is to train our eyes to perceive that hierarchy of values.
Sketching is great for this, but black and white oil studies are even better. You kill two birds with one stone, really - focusing on values, and also practicing your mixing and brushwork.
These funny looking oranges are a cross between tangerines and grapefruit. Wikipedia claims that they are "juicy at the expense of flesh." Which I think should be the alternate title of this painting, don't you?
They call these gallery visits "Artist's Salons," how lovely. And so civilized! I set my easel up outside the gallery doors and chatted with the people who strolled by all afternoon.
Those gorgeous apples came right out of my hosts' garden on the island, and they were delicious! I know, because I ate them as soon as I was done with this painting. Farm to easel to table? More like ground to hand to mouth. But yes!
This self-portrait began as a demo for an online student. At the end of our session, it looked like the first image on the left - so that was about an hour-and-a-half. I worked on it for several more hours, and you can see the progression:
I really enjoy painting for my online students - it's like having
excellent company in the studio, with the added bonus of having video documentation of my painting process! I edited this one down to just the block-in - it's about a 15 minute video:
Here is the second in my plums-and-strawberries series. It officially went from a "thing I'm doing" to a "series" when I painted the third installment this morning. Hopefully you'll be seeing that one soon - it still needs its highlights touched up.
I painted this at Still Life Open Studios - a new project of mine, which is exactly what it sounds like: a drop-in studio session dedicated to my beloved subject, the not-your-momma's still life!
There was a LOT to choose from this week: melons, flowers, strawberries....but I seem to be on a plum kick lately, and I loved using a combination of Ivory black and Alizarin crimson to push those luscious purples as dark as could be.
Just a note: I've got a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING in my Etsy shop this month. It's AUGUST. Go figure!
This was kind of a demo for my Online Mentorship students, a couple of whom are working on loosening up their process this month with one-hour paintings. They are doing some incredible things! Here is a blog post one of them wrote - I promise, I'm not making her work THIS hard, she's just incredibly motivated. When I say I get as much from my students as they get from me, this is what I'm talking about. What an inspiration!
And speaking of inspiration, I had some help naming this painting. You know who you are, and thanks. ;)