Sketching Before Breakfast #4

Cantaloupe Slices, sketched in Procreate on the iPad and then eaten for breakfast.

Cantaloupe Slices, sketched in Procreate on the iPad and then eaten for breakfast.

I took a long break from posting to my blog and I have lots of good excuses. I created a bunch of draft posts of a series of iPad sketches I’d done at the breakfast table and then my kitchen remodel began. Four months later it’s finally finished! So here I am finally posting the drafts that I started months ago.

View from the kitchen table. iPad Pro and Procreate.

View from the kitchen table. iPad Pro and Procreate.

Sketching in sepia "ink" before breakfast or random stuff on the table. Procreate on iPad.

Sketching in sepia “ink” before breakfast or random stuff on the table. Procreate on iPad.

Sketching Before Breakfast #3 Mystery Pears and More

Two pears and an apple on breakfast table; morning sketch in Procreate on the iPad.

Two pears and an apple on breakfast table; morning sketch in Procreate on the iPad.

And we have more morning sketches. I was really trying to force myself to stick to 3 values for each object. My glass-topped table is so great with its frosted glass square design elements and reflections.

Unfinished sketch of bananas and lemon on the table

Unfinished sketch of bananas and lemon on the table

Super quick sketch done on Procreate on my iPhone with my finger, barely had a minute to draw but didn't want to lose momentum.

Super quick sketch done on Procreate on my iPhone with my finger, barely had a minute to draw but didn’t want to lose momentum.

Iris in an Aqua Cup and Bonus Pear Painting

Iris in an Aqua Cup, oil on unstretched canvas, 12x9"

Iris in an Aqua Cup, oil on unstretched canvas, 12×9″

I was thrilled when my irises bloomed again this year after failing to do so last spring. I love the warm light I was able to capture in this painting. It went through a lot of changes before I finally settled on this version. (Available on my DPW gallery here.)

Bonus Pear, oil on Gessobord, 6x6"

Bonus Pear, oil on Gessobord, 6×6″

This was just a little love letter to a pretty pear. (Available on my DPW Gallery here.)

Queen Pomegranate and Princess Persimmon (Painted Thrice)

Queen Pom and Princess Persimmon, oil on panel, 8x8"

Queen Pom and Princess Persimmon, oil on panel, 8×8 inches (Available to purchase here)

There was something regal about these two, hence the name, despite the queen sitting in a soap dish, not a throne. I started out thinking “values and planes” and then, as usual, got seduced by color and detail. I did manage to keep some of the planes I saw in this pomegranate (which was becoming more faceted as it became more elderly, having been painted a few times over the past couple weeks). However, I’m not sure the painting actually benefitted from leaving the planes (or so many of them) visible.

Below is a photo of the set up and below that the two previous pom/persimmon paintings that were a nice warmup and introduction to the subject, though perhaps not terribly successful in terms of paint application, composition and/or drawing.

Photo of setup for Queen Pom

Photo of setup for Queen Pom

4 Poms on a Black Plate, oil on panel, 8x10"

4 Poms on a Black Plate, oil on panel, 8×10″

3 Poms on a Black Box, oil on panel, 8x10"

3 Poms on a Black Box, oil on panel, 8×10″

3 Poms on a Box painting on easel and still life set up

3 Poms on a Box painting on easel and still life set up

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9x12 inches

Grandma’s Laundry Sprinkler and Apples, oil on canvas, 9×12 inches. Click Image for Purchase Info

My grandmother ironed everything including underwear and sheets! Doing laundry was a major project. My mother bought her a dryer but she refused to use it, preferring to hang everything out to dry on the backyard clothesline. She dragged her wheeled canvas laundry cart with a big pocket for wooden clothespins (see sketch below) down the stairs and then pinned everything up to dry in the sun.

Before she ironed she sprinkled the stiff, dry laundry with water, using her special sprinkler cork (in painting above) stuffed in a bottle. Steam irons made laundry sprinklers obsolete but I wanted to honor this artifact of my grandma’s life in a painting. A few years ago I also made this sketch of her hanging laundry (below). I always loved playing with the clothespins and hanging out with my sweet grandma on laundry day.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Grandma hanging laundry with her laundry cart, Digital sketch.

Here is a photo of the setup (which I painted from life, not from the photo).

Photo of still life set up

Pomegranates and Wine Corks

Pomegranates and Corks, oil still life on panel, 10x8"

Pomegranates and Corks, oil still life on linen panel, 10×8″

I’m still having fun painting poms and trying to understand them. Below is the process I used, with photos of the set up. I like starting with a Pitt pastel pencil to sketch in the composition and then go to thinned down transparent oil paint.

I’ve switched back to working on panels again from paper in order to have a slicker surface that allows wiping off more easily than the Arches Oil Paper which is very absorbent.

This painting is available. Click for purchase info on my DailyPaintworks Gallery.

Junior High Pear-ings

Junior High Pearings, Oil on Gessoboard, 9x12"

Junior High Pearings, Oil on Gessoboard, 9x12"

I’m guilty of anthropomorphizing when I draw or paint. I always seem to see human shapes or body parts in inanimate objects. I see tongues, hips, elbows and other body parts in flowers, plants, fruit or even lampposts.

So when I set up this still life, the two paired pears with one alone behind them reminded me of junior high, when two girls would whisper to each other about another, who would be left out of the conversation. Sometimes I was one of the gossipy whisperers; just as often I was the one left out.

Girls having a sleep-over would phone a friend and try to get her to say mean things about someone who was there, secretly listening in. Then after she’d said, “Mary’s butt is too big,” Mary would speak up and say, “Hi, This is Mary. Thanks a lot!” The next week it might work the other way around.

I learned the hard way not to say things about people which I wouldn’t want them to hear. The lesson gets reinforced regularly by a weird sort of karma that happens to me. It almost never fails that if I do speak about another, they unexpectedly appear, often from behind me, just like in the painting.

About the painting

I painted this on a day when I just had a couple hours and wanted to paint with oils. I didn’t take time to plan the composition and did very little with the set up, originally using my black light box as the background. This is how it looked originally before I revised the background, made some adjustments between the two front pears, and glazed the painting with Indian Yellow.

Pears-Original painting

Pears-Original painting

I thought the original version seemed cold and uninviting. I like it better now, with the softer, warmer feel and the rounded shape of the “table top” instead of the harsh horizontal line.

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