Getting the drawing right before beginning to paint is so important when trying to paint realistically. Although it’s theoretically easier to correct drawing errors with oil paint than watercolor, it’s still a lot less fun than painting with a good drawing. As you can see from the start of this painting below, I hadn’t quite nailed the elipse on the top of the pitcher before I started painting.
I wanted to get started with the painting quickly because I knew the leaves from the lemon tree were going to change wilt, even though I had inserted the stems in a little florist tube with water (and they did!). But by not getting the elipse on the top of the pitcher drawn correctly, I ended up redoing it over and over and finally giving up. I am happy with the way the fabric under the pitcher turned out, as well as the lemon and didn’t have to do any repainting on those areas, although I did change some of the fabric as I painted.
On my next still life, I’m going to sketch the composition on tracing paper first, and then transfer it to the painting panel, rather than trying to sketch it on the panel. Maybe that will make the painting more fun and less of a struggle.
Win some, lose some, learn some, move on.