Categories
Art theory Oil Painting Painting Still Life

Christmas Teapot Still Life

Christmas Teapot, oil on Gessobord, 8x8"
Christmas Teapot, oil on Gessobord, 8x8"

My favorite parts of this painting are where I put the paint down and left it alone (like in the little white dish and teabag). I don’t know what comes over me at the end of a painting session when I start adjusting things that don’t need it. The spoon had been fabulous but after a “teensy” fix that wasn’t, and led to repainting, it lost it’s zing.

One of the many things I’ve learned from the Peggi Kroll-Roberts videos is to use a mirror to look at the painting to check for problems. You stand with your back to the painting and hold up the mirror as if to look at yourself. I’d heard of this technique before but didn’t really “get it” until now. Problems with values, perspective and unequal sides of an object really stand out when you see your work backwards in the mirror.

View from the easel of the set up
View from the easel of the set up

The teapot was my gift at my office’s “Silly Santa” gift exchange. Everyone brings one wrapped gift, we draw numbers and select from the pile in the order of the numbers drawn. You can pick a new gift or steal from someone who has already opened one. It’s always fun with much laughter and misbehavior.

Categories
Art supplies Art theory Oil Painting Painting Still Life

My Oil Painting Breakthrough: Striving Pears and Peggi Kroll-Roberts

Striving Pears, Oil on Gessobord, 6x6"
Striving Pears, Oil on gesso board, 6x6"

My friend Kathryn Law wrote on her blog about the workshop she took with Peggi Kroll-Roberts and about Peggi’s instructional DVDs. The videos focus on the things I most wanted to learn, especially creating strong value patterns and making rich painterly brush strokes, along with loosening up and having fun. I ordered the videos and watched them. Wow!

The Buddhist proverb, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” is so true. I had to have tried and given up on so many other approaches to oil painting to become very clear on what I didn’t want, what I did want (working with the freedom and looseness I have when I sketch) and what I needed to get there (all the things Peggi teaches).

Watching Peggi demonstrate and explain what she’s thinking and doing as she does it is such a rare ability in painting teachers in my experience. Her videos answered many questions I’ve had for so long. I’ve read dozens of books and gotten great advice from artist friends, but until I watched Peggi’s videos, I just didn’t get it.

I’d almost given up oil painting in frustration but now… Yippee! Oil painting is fun again!

About the painting:

While bosc pears aren’t as pretty or colorful as other types, when I saw the way they were sitting in their container, one seeming like it was “striving” to reach, copy, or catch up with the other, I had to paint them. I used the techniques/tools I learned in Peggi’s videos and really enjoyed the painting process (and the results).

Categories
Oil Painting Painting Still Life

Tomatoes Try Again

November Tomatoes Again, Oil on board, 9x12"
November Tomatoes Again, Oil on board, 9x12"

After wishing I could hit “rewind” to get the tomato vines/stems and patterned cloth back in the November Tomatoes oil painting, I realized that I could just paint them back on thanks to the wonders of oil paint.

For reference material I used the photo of the original painting and the tomato vine/stems that I’d snipped off but still had (having saved them for my cats to play with). I experimented first in Photoshop, “painting” stems on the photo of the previously “finished” painting to try to come up with a design that carried the eye around and not out of the painting.

Then I mixed up some stem colors and had fun swirling them on the painting. I worked a bit more on tomatoes, shadows, added some color and reflections in the bowl and painted the background again.  I think it’s a happier picture now, and one that presented me with many learning opportunities. So I’m happier moving on too.