I had a truck load of stuff that I brought to the painting class today. I basically had to bring my entire painting setup plus objects for a still life and lamps. But it payed off, I was able to have a lot of items to choose from and because I was so prepared I spent a lot of extra time setting up my still life. I really wanted to get this composition fantastic and interesting to paint. I plan on spending a long time on it so I want it to keep the excitement throughout.
After spending over an hour working on the composition alone I began painting in a reductive process by covering the entire canvas in a dark wash and wiping out areas of light. I also added more dark wash for the darker areas of the painting and kept working it for the rest of the time.
The purpose of the reductive start is to quickly establish the basic drawing of the subject along with its relative values. Its a great way to get the whole composition on the canvas quickly and determine if you want to keep it or change it.
Jamie also had us mix up a value scale consisting of 7 steps from white to black. The purpose here was to work on our ability to see value scales evenly and eventually transfer that to the painting. Our homework was to paint the entire still life in nothing but gray scale. I’m excited about this because I love values and I think they are the most important part of any representational artwork. I may work on this painting every day this week.
The Still Life Setup