Boxed Coffee Scoop (A Silly Purchase)

Boxed Coffee Scoop and Cork, oil on panel, 5x7"

Scoop and Cork, oil on panel, 5x7"

Peet’s Coffee is selling coffee scoops in three sizes that measure exactly the right amount of coffee for their French press coffee makers. Although I was happy with my French press pot and coffee scoop, I couldn’t resist the promise of the perfect cup of coffee.

Haha. It holds exactly the same amount that I already use. And it’s too wide to dump the coffee into my little French press pot without some of it landing on the counter and the handle is too short to comfortably scoop out of the bag or canister. So, while useless in the kitchen it is earning its keep as a model in the studio.

Value study/under-painting for Scoop and Cork, oil, 5x7"

Value study/under-painting for Scoop and Cork, oil, 5x7"

This week’s Daily Paintworks challenge is to do a value study using only burnt umber, and to vary the amount of dark, medium and light so that there is a majority of one, some of the other, and a smidgen of the other. This is done by applying a thin layer of burnt umber, wiping it down for mid value, painting in the darks using only burnt umber, and wiping with paper towel or q-tips dipped in mineral spirits for the highlights.

I was going for a majority of dark, some middle, and smidgen of light. Not sure if I accomplished that. It seems like there’s almost as much middle as there is dark. I’ve done plenty of value studies and monochrome paintings, but I’d never done it this way before and enjoyed it. I like the way the finished study kind of glows but used it as a the under-painting for the painting at the top of this post.

The Color of White (Warm)

White Pitcher on Provence Pattern, oil on panel, 7x5"

White Pitcher on Provence Pattern, oil on panel, 7x5"

The Daily Paintworks folks are hosting weekly painting exercises that offer an opportunity to practice a particular painting challenge. Last week it was painting a white object sitting on a patterned fabric using only primary colors and white.

I’d found this funny, funky (chipped) pitcher at my local thrift shop and thought it would make a good subject for this exercise, along with a Provencal print tablecloth.

White pitcher preliminary sketch on panel

White pitcher preliminary sketch on panel

I sketched in the shapes with pastel pencil onto my Gessobord panel and then used some thinned Ultramarine Blue to block in the shadows on the pitcher. I like the way this looks so nice and sketchy.

This was another fun painting. I love how oil painting is getting to be more fun and less of a struggle (less of, but not without, that’s for sure!).

Since I tend to lose interest if something is too easy or there’s nothing more to learn, knowing that painting will always provide a challenge and there will always be more to learn, is a good thing.

If you’d like to buy this unframed 7×5″ painting for $60, just click here.

The Color of White (Cool)

White teapot on wrapping paper, oil on panel, 6x6"

White teapot on wrapping paper, oil on panel, 6x6"

The Daily Paintworks‘ challenge last week was to paint a white object sitting on patterned fabric using only primary colors and white. For this attempt I decided to use some turquoise, patterned wrapping paper instead. The wrapping paper had clever little snowmen all over it but after giving one snowman a try, I realized I didn’t have the patience or interest to try to paint all the details on them (top hat, scarf, etc.).

So I gave myself permission to abstract the snowmen into the circular, swirly shapes I saw reflected on the teapot. Since it was meant to be a painting exercise, I didn’t get too concerned with perfecting the painting. I just wanted to experiment with seeing reflections and building the form of a white object on a cool background.

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