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Art supplies Lighting Oil Painting Still Life

Montessori Pink Tower and Turnips (plus great new studio lights)

Montessori Pink Tower and Turnips, oil on linen panel, 10x10 inches
Montessori Pink Tower and Turnips, oil on linen panel, 10×10 inches

This painting was inspired by my neighbor’s childhood Montessori Pink Tower blocks arranged like a little cityscape on his coffee table. I found the blocks irresistible and had to paint them. The turnips I’d bought to cook for dinner seemed like a perfect addition (I know, I’m weird, right?) The painting is available on my Daily Paintworks gallery here.

If you’d like to see my full notes with goals and outcomes for each painting session, you can open this small PDF file.  Life intervened between sessions which made painting from life difficult as you can see in the photos below taken at the beginning and end of the painting process: the turnips had started to sprout and wrinkle.

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Lighting Oil Painting Still Life Studio

From Grisaille to Color: Painting a Colored Block Landscape in Oils

Block Landscape, final painting, 12x16, oil on panel
Block Landscape, final painting, 12×16, oil on panel

I wanted to learn how to get from a grisaille underpainting to a full color painting after I did the Frankie Flathead monochrome study. So I decided to set up some colored blocks as if they were a landscape, and paint them in layers, starting with a grisaille, trying to find a method that worked for me.

Above is the final painting and below is the step-by-step process that I followed.

Categories
Art supplies Lighting Oil Painting Painting Still Life Studio

Meyer Lemons Bowled and New Adjustable Still Life Table

Meyer Lemons Bowled, oil on linen, 8x8"
Meyer Lemons Bowled, oil on linen panel, 8x8"

These lemons came from my little Meyer Lemon tree which produces the sweetest, plumpest lemons. I planted the tree from a small pot about 5 years ago and now it’s as tall as me. I really like the Centurion Oil Primed Linen Panel I painted this on, except that it takes much longer for the paint to dry than when painting on Gessobord because it doesn’t sink in to the oil priming.

Still life table beside easel
A= Still life table beside easel

I set up the bowl of lemons on my new rolling, adjustable (from 28″ to 45″ high) still life stand, also known as an Over the Bed Table on Amazon where I got it with free shipping (good thing because it’s not light). Since I was taking a picture of it I thought I’d also describe the other items in the photo since I’m so happy with my painting set up.

A = Rolling, adjustable height Still life stand/Over the Bed Table

B = Karen Jurick’s “Alter Easel” which I love for holding thin panels instead of trying to balance them between the narrow supports on my easel. Works great!

C = Daylight Studio Lamp for lighting the still life (not visible is the Daylight Artists Easel Lamp that is attached to the top of my easel to light the painting (that I was given for free by the company and liked so much I bought the standing light).

D = A silly maul stick (just the top shows) that doesn’t work very well. I’ve seen people using canes instead, hooked over the top of the painting to provide support for your hand when painting details.

E = Masterson Artist Palette Seal with a lid that seals like Tupperware and with a pad of palette paper inside (the palette paper is a recent discovery that I LOVE because it saves so much time from having to clean the palette.) I keep the palette in my freezer when I have paint left over. Once thawed (in a few minutes) it’s in perfect condition for the next painting session. The palette is on top of an upside down plastic drawer from a defunct rolling cart to raise it up high enough for me to use without bending over (I’m 5’10”).

Not lettered but in the picture is the beautiful silk sari fabric my friend Barbara gave me for my birthday for just this purpose and the ancient microwave cart that holds my palette and supplies. Not shown is the rolling plastic taboret I’ve had for 20 years that holds my brushes and other stuff.

OK, I know I’m a gadget girl and many of these things are not necessary. But I feel like painting (and life) are hard enough, why not have great tools to make it easier? There are lots more pictures of my studio under the category “Studio.”