Finally, here is the companion to the Catbird painting! I aimed to keep this as fresh as possible, trying to define each patch of color with as few brushstrokes as possible. My goal was one brushstroke per patch of color, and I can’t say I achieved that 100%, but maybe 85-90%. I think the fish lips came out particularly well. 🙂
I had this lit with two lights – one from each direction (due to my still life and palette setup), and I think that was one light too many, or the placement could have been better. I would have preferred that the object’s roundness was better defined through light and shadow, as with the Catbird, but I didn’t notice it until I compared the two paintings after finishing this one (rolleyes). Next time…
This is my fourth representational still life painting since beginning (almost) daily painting. This one was a bit more of a struggle than Squidward Tentacles, but three painting sessions later, I think I mostly pulled it off. I’m still attempting to paint loosely, but a 20+ year-habit of “blending” the paint is a hard habit to break. I have to force myself not to get too close to the canvas, not to smooth out my initial brushstrokes, not to “draw” with the brush, and not to overdo it!
I’ll be painting Catbird’s partner, Catfish (pepper) later, so stay tuned. All my latest little still lifes (except for those that have already sold) are available in my shop, as well as in my gallery at DailyPaintWorks.
It’s been at least a decade since I painted any representational still life paintings. I thought I had perhaps gotten past painting still lifes in favor of abstraction, but have recently found myself wanting to work perceptually again, only this time, with any luck (or should I say, with the development of skill), in a looser, more painterly way.
Here are the first three perceptual still life paintings I’ve done this century: Spongebob Squarepants was the first and is still a bit tight, then I painted Patrick Star and Squidward Tentacles. I think they came out pretty well. These are, of course, based on small plastic figurines of these characters.
I’m really enjoying working this way again, and hope to do more or less daily paintings if I can. The intervening decade of pushing myself further toward abstraction has been a very interesting journey so far. I plan to continue working abstractly as well doing the small still lifes; I don’t know yet if I will be doing both simultaneously or if I will do the still lifes for a while and then pick back up with the abstracts. Stay tuned.
I recently read an article by a representational painter on another blog, in which the writer said that one should very carefully and thoroughly plan one’s paintings. My first thought was, “No waaaaay!” That would take all the fun out the process of discovery that, for me at least, is a great deal of what painting is about. Feeling a little smug, I thought of the following much-loved quote:
You are lost the instant you know what the result will be. – Juan Gris