Kissing Cantaloupe, still life oil painting on Arches Oil Paper, 10.5 x 9 inches

Kissing Cantaloupe, still life oil painting on Arches Oil Paper, 10.5 x 9 inches

I’ve been thinking about still life painting and what, for me, makes it fun to paint and enjoyable to look at. Number one is color that pleases me and a feeling of light and space and a close second is strong value contrast (between dark and light). Traditional or classic still life paintings often have dark backgrounds and somber colors and I’ve realized that’s just not me. That style seems very masculine to me; perhaps because the old masters were mostly men and even back then men liked their “man caves.”

I want to find a way to paint in oils that incorporates what I like so much about my watercolor paintings, which have mostly been light with bright colors painted on a background of white unpainted paper. Another difference is that in oils I’ve tended to work small, painting objects smaller than actual size, and in watercolor I’ve typically painted much larger than life size. I’m going to be exploring working larger and lighter and in colors that make me feel joyful.

This painting is available on DailyPaintworks here

Oil Painting, Still Life
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Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. 🙂 The painting makes me hungry for a cantaloupe.
    Great fruit “portrait” !
    Have a very HAPPY week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your cantaloupe painting! You’ve obviously got a great handle on color and you already know your direction. I think that old master still life’s are dark because they didn’t have all the lights we have today. Even buildings didn’t have the windows we have. Also, I think most of those paintings have dulled over the years and if cleaned, would be much brighter. But it was a different world then! I love your bright and friendly colors!


    • Thank you Richard! Your art is always so colorful, bright and joyful. The historical reasons for dark paintings makes a lot of sense, but then in our modern world people are maybe trying to recapture the spirit of “classical” painting with dark backgrounds in their own work.


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