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maverick
10-26-2004, 10:35 PM
OK, at Dee's request, here is my painting process at the moment.

I set up my objects in my cardboard box stage and take photos of different arrangements. Here's the one I've chosen for the WIP.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip1.JPG

maverick
10-26-2004, 10:38 PM
I adjust the levels in Photoshop to brighten up the colors and increase the contrast. This is closer to how I would like the painting to look.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip2.JPG

maverick
10-26-2004, 10:43 PM
A neat trick when working on your sketch is to look at the image in B&W. If you draw from life, you can still snap a photo and use a B&W version as a reference.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip3.JPG

maverick
10-26-2004, 11:01 PM
Here is my charcoal sketch. I use my finger to shade certain areas, but I don't take it too far.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip4.JPG

maverick
10-26-2004, 11:07 PM
Now I take a flat bristle brush and scrub on some Burnt Umber with a bit of water in the darkest areas. I've used Black before; it doesn't seem to matter very much since it all gets covered up later.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip5.JPG

maverick
10-26-2004, 11:16 PM
I continue by adding more water to the paint for the lighter areas. I don't care if the charcoal dirties the paint at this point.

The next decision is where to start painting with color. I usually start on the darkest areas with some Payne's Gray and perhaps a touch of Naphthol Red. But that will have to wait until tomorrow...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip6.JPG

dudley_d
10-27-2004, 02:26 AM
This is looking good. Gonna keep my eye on this. :clap:

irish artist
10-27-2004, 08:10 AM
Whoa, hold the horses!!
I'm lost, this is on canvas?? You start with a charcoal drawing on canvas and then you paint over the top with acrylics and then use oil on top of that????? :confused:

maverick
10-27-2004, 09:34 AM
Thanks dudley, I hope I don't fall down.

Irish...good question! Yes, I've drawn with charcoal right on the canvas. Then I've done a sketchy underpainting in acrylics. I outlined part of the drawing with paint so the underpainting wouldn't erase my lines. I make sure I'm left with a map of the darkest and lightest areas. The midtones are just a wash of watered down paint.

Now I could switch to oils if I wanted to and finish it as an oil painting, or continue with acrylics. This time I'll stay with the acrylics, since Dee wanted to see how I work with acrylics.

Just something to remember...the acrylic underpainting seals in the charcoal so it won't dirty your paint later.

I like to experiment, so I've tried many combinations for starting a painting. I'm settling more on this method.

dudley_d
10-27-2004, 11:11 AM
Whoa, hold the horses!!
I'm lost, this is on canvas?? You start with a charcoal drawing on canvas and then you paint over the top with acrylics and then use oil on top of that????? :confused:

Yes! Flemish uses a type of this process..... :)

idahogirl
10-27-2004, 11:28 AM
Thanks!!! Waiting eagerly for next installment....

Dee

CarolChretien
10-27-2004, 12:36 PM
Thanks!!! Waiting eagerly for next installment....

Dee

Ditto!
vote for this thread! :D

RawSienna
10-27-2004, 01:15 PM
What fun!

And a great pic to show us with!

Hi Carol! Good to see you!! How do we vote for the thread?

Olan
10-27-2004, 03:05 PM
Blue tool bar at top Mickie where it says Rate Thread.

bjcpaints
10-27-2004, 03:46 PM
Can't wait to see the next steps! Thanks for doing this.
Barbara

Bertoni
10-27-2004, 06:30 PM
maverick: I like the way you work! This is exciting as well as informative! Can't wait to see how it turns out!! :clap:

maverick
10-27-2004, 10:33 PM
Thanks everyone for watching...I'm not nervous...uh...really.

OK, it's about time for another update! Since there isn't a lot of detail to show at this stage, I'm switching to smaller images so this page won't take forever to load.

I continue making the background darker with some Payne's Gray and a Medium Red...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip7.JPG

Then with mostly Red and a bit of Payne's Gray, I fill in the other dark spots...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip8.JPG

Now I block in the foreground with Raw Sienna. Nobody will realize this was a cardboard box, so I'm sticking with the general color of the box. I also fill in the dark areas I missed, and that streak of light in the foreground.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip9.JPG

maverick
10-27-2004, 10:51 PM
Here's another really useful trick I learned on WC!, and it's helped me alot. If you have trouble seeing all the different colors in your reference image, you can posterize it in Photoshop. It's hard to believe these colors are there, but trust me, they are. Normally I paint what I see, having trained my eye somewhat already, but I sometimes check the image in Photoshop like this to see if I've missed anything. Making even the most subtle changes or additions of missed colors will add a great deal to the realism.

Like I said, I learned this here on WC!, and it was Arlene that helped me to realize what I had been missing in my paintings--a wider range of colors.

Here is my reference image, posterized in Photoshop (5 levels).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip10.JPG


For the sake of showing how this works, I've painted a very loose version of the posterized image this time. This is the color map on top of the value map I did earlier. It doesn't look like much, but the next steps will really bring it into focus and it will look more like a real painting fairly quickly.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip11.JPG

maverick
10-27-2004, 11:05 PM
Here I've started to work on the pear on the right. I'm back to using my non-posterized version of my reference photo. I take small dabs of paint and scumble or scrub it very loosely. I keep everything fairly loose and gradually tighten up my brush strokes as I get to the final details.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip12.JPG


Time flies when you're doing this, so I have no clue about how long it took to arrive at this stage since I finished the color part of the underpainting. But so far today, I've spent about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

I just keep scumbling and scrubbing small dabs of paint, picking up whatever color I think I see in the image. Scrubbing with the bristle brush fills in the little divots in the canvas so it doesn't look like a dry brush streak. (Dee, I'm not sure if this is what you're trying to avoid).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip13.JPG

That's it for today. Check in a again tomorrow night where I will continue the process and hopefully get to the detail in the glass. I'll also decide what edges I want to sharpen or perhaps soften. It's overall soft looking now.

dudley_d
10-27-2004, 11:51 PM
Wow Maverick, all this in 2 days? Makes me want to go out buy acylics! LOL
In tradfitional oils this would take me a LONG time!
Looking good!

idahogirl
10-27-2004, 11:59 PM
Scrubbing with the bristle brush fills in the little divots in the canvas so it doesn't look like a dry brush streak. (Dee, I'm not sure if this is what you're trying to avoid).


Yes, that's it. I have been ending up with dry streaks and finding it pretty much impossible to smooth them out. THANKS! That was worth the price of admission all my itself :D

Dee

CarolChretien
10-28-2004, 07:02 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap:
:cat: loving it!

maverick
10-29-2004, 10:49 AM
Sorry I was unable to give an update last night. The server was too busy. I'll try again later today.

maverick
10-30-2004, 12:07 AM
OK, I've been working on it for the past two evenings...another 6 hours.

I've continued to scumble and scrub dabs of paint on the right pear. It's really tough to get all the variations in color and value, but I just keep trying until I'm satisfied...

I start working more on the rest of the fruit...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip14.JPG


I keep comparing my reference image to the painting and make adjustments. I'm starting to use some glazing medium to smooth some areas. I used glazing medium and Payne's Gray to lose the left edge of left pear and the bottom of the right pear. I concentrate on the glass for a while, using my smaller synthetic round brushes. Painting glass is like painting anything else. Just paint what you see. You have to look at the abstract shapes and colors in there and just paint them as they are. If you lose yourself in that little world, you will be amazed when you're finished. It will actually look like a glass.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip15.JPG

Now I think I'm almost done with the fruit and glass...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip16.JPG

Now I've finished the fruit, added my brightest reflections in the glass, and completed the foreground. There are some refractions to paint around the glass and some adjustments to be made to the shadows...I don't worry too much about getting these areas perfect. I just want to give a sense of what's there. The focal point of the painting is the glass.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2004/10671-still_life_wip17.JPG

My intent was to create a dramatic high contrast image. I've exaggerated the color, light, and the reflections and refractions in the glass. I haven't painted very many glass objects, so this was a fun challenge.

Now I just have to look at it in the morning and make any final corrections. It's basically done...

Thanks for watching!

Feel free to ask me any specific questions.

maverick
10-30-2004, 12:52 AM
I already see some changes I want to make to the right pear...so I guess I'm not done after all!

arlene
10-30-2004, 01:08 AM
your glass is superb...but honestly your fruit are flat looking without dimension. I know you'll be able to figure out how to fix them. ;)

maverick
10-30-2004, 01:24 AM
Thanks Arlene! Yes, you're right. I'm going to work on the fruit some more. I've had the hardest time mixing the green I want for the pear on the right.

A photo really puts a painting to the test doesn't it? It looks better in person, but if I can get it to look better in the photo, it will look much better in person.

idahogirl
10-30-2004, 12:15 PM
This is so exciting to see the painting enfold and to hear your thought processes...Again, Thanks!

Dee

Marysa
10-30-2004, 02:23 PM
Maverick: This has been very helpful. Thank you! I love the cardboard box idea. Much easier. Where are you getting the light source? Did you paint the inside of the box or leave it as is?

I hope you do more for us :clap:

maverick
10-30-2004, 03:03 PM
I've done some more work on the fruit. How's that?

This is a scan. I think it's more accurate than my digital camera.

Pears, Orange and Glass
16x12
Acrylic on stretched canvas

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Oct-2004/10671-pears_orange_glass_scan_sml.JPG

You're welcome Dee. This actually helped me push myself a bit harder. I'm happy with the results.

Marysa, the cardboard box was Ruth's idea. Here is the original article: Stage Your Still Life
Painting (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/2514/127/) I've done several paintings using this technique and they've all turned out really well. For my light source, I aim a halogen light from my gallery wall through the window cut in the side.

Marysa
10-30-2004, 03:42 PM
Thanks for the help. Your painting is gorgeous :clap: I'm so excited. I'm trying the box idea today. So much to learn.

maverick
10-30-2004, 05:00 PM
You're welcome Marysa, and thanks!

I forgot to answer your question, I didn't paint the inside of the box. I placed a piece of black paper at the back.

irish artist
10-30-2004, 05:15 PM
Maverick, Thanks for the WIP and the tip about the light box, I dashed right over there and loved the tutorial. :clap: Thanks again

idahogirl
10-30-2004, 05:51 PM
I've done some more work on the fruit. How's that?

This is a scan. I think it's more accurate than my digital camera.

Pears, Orange and Glass
16x12
Acrylic on stretched canvas

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Oct-2004/10671-pears_orange_glass_scan_sml.JPG



It is gorgeous :clap: :clap: :clap:

Dee

juneto
10-30-2004, 09:09 PM
Your painting is superb.
Can you explain Posterizing ?I am new to the Computer and New at WC. I'm not sure just what's happening
, Are they layers ?
Thankyou
June :)

maverick
10-30-2004, 09:38 PM
You're welcome Irish :) The box was a breakthrough for me.

Thanks Dee! And also thanks for suggesting the WIP. I enjoyed it, and it gave me motivation to paint.

Thanks June...posterizing is a computer software process that limits the color palette in an image. One such product is called Photoshop. It just brings some of the major colors out that may be difficult to discern. I find that if I use the posterized image as a guide for an underpainting, it helps. It certainly isn't necessary to do that. I will sometimes look at a posterized version of my reference photo to see if I missed any important colors that would help increase the realism.

arlene
10-30-2004, 11:55 PM
much better, but i still see a few things...

i numbered them on the smaller one...which is your original.

1. your ellipse on the bottom of your glass is off...i corrected it on the scan i played with. you can see it by the yellow lines done in PS.

2. that area of the orange looked unfinished...i finished it to show you the difference.

3. first the blue area i indicated...what is it? it looks excuse my bluntness...cartoony. As for the modeling on the pear, it's better, but i noticed a few things...one the top still looked a bit flat. I rounded it more by adding more shadow and some Highlight. But i also darkened it and the bottom right side up a bit...it's more in shadow then you had it...the light is coming from the left. I also modeled the bottom just a hair to help the top

mav, you are definitely back in the swing again...now let's see you start making your paintings the best they can be. :)

maverick
10-31-2004, 08:19 AM
Arlene, thanks for pointing these things out.

I noticed the bottom of the glass when I turned the painting upside down. I was hoping no one would notice...but nothing gets past you!

The orange I noticed also, and I already fixed it. Hmmm...I wonder if some of you're critical eye (in a good sense of course) is being transferred to me. I hope so!

As for your third point...you used that c-word! This is the second time someone has said my work looked cartooney. I'm not sure what it means, and I was hesitant to ask before. Does cartooney mean unrealistic? Is it becoming part of my style? Is that bad? When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist. Could this desire be coming out in my painting? Ack!

All kidding aside, I only see the area enclosing the number 3...no blue area. I hope you mean that the end of the pear is kind of a botched attempt at painting that wierd underside of a pear at a bad angle. I suppose it doesn't fit with the rest of the painting. Your version has removed it, and it looks much better.

mav, you are definitely back in the swing again...now let's see you start making your paintings the best they can be.

Thanks Arlene...this is why I'm here. Your no nonsense approach is deeply appreciated, and has helped me get as far as I am now. I learned how to take criticism from teachers when I was younger when one of them said, "I'm only tough on the ones I think have potential." I hope...I hope... :D

CarolChretien
10-31-2004, 10:49 AM
Mav, just terrific!
I really love the crispness of your colors and the comp. :clap:

Trisha H
10-31-2004, 02:35 PM
Lovely painting Maverick! - liked the one with the tin too!

Trisha.

maverick
10-31-2004, 02:52 PM
Thanks Carol, Trisha! I appreciate your comments.

Ichigo
10-31-2004, 03:12 PM
see i understand the pears and how one would paint them..but the glass and water???..i wouldnt know where to begin...my guess is that you would work with light glazes of grey..plus the reflections of the fruit on the back..and the rest is just the white highlights?...do help a simple art student such as myself understand..thankssssssss! :cat:

maverick
10-31-2004, 03:53 PM
Welcome to WetCanvas! Ichigo...

To paint glass, water, or other kind of shiny object, you have to paint the abstract shapes and colors that are there. I concentrate on one area at a time. I don't paint the glass and water, they're transparent, and there's no color of paint for that.

arlene
10-31-2004, 05:23 PM
see i understand the pears and how one would paint them..but the glass and water???..i wouldnt know where to begin...my guess is that you would work with light glazes of grey..plus the reflections of the fruit on the back..and the rest is just the white highlights?...do help a simple art student such as myself understand..thankssssssss! :cat:
you draw what you see, and not what you think you see. anotherwords, paint the shapes, colors, values...think of it as an abstract instead of a glass...now how do you see it?

arlene
10-31-2004, 05:27 PM
I noticed the bottom of the glass when I turned the painting upside down. I was hoping no one would notice...but nothing gets past you!

:evil:

The orange I noticed also, and I already fixed it. Hmmm...I wonder if some of you're critical eye (in a good sense of course) is being transferred to me. I hope so!

I do think you're improving with each piece. :)

All kidding aside, I only see the area enclosing the number 3...no blue area. I hope you mean that the end of the pear is kind of a botched attempt at painting that wierd underside of a pear at a bad angle. I suppose it doesn't fit with the rest of the painting. Your version has removed it, and it looks much better.

that's the part i was talking about looking cartoony...don't know why i eliminated the blue...sigh...

I learned how to take criticism from teachers when I was younger when one of them said, "I'm only tough on the ones I think have potential." I hope...I hope... :D

yep!

RawSienna
11-01-2004, 10:37 AM
Lookin' good! I love the richness in your pears...and really like the contrast with the water glass, which you do superbly!

I bet it feels good to get back painting again huh!

dudley_d
11-01-2004, 10:43 AM
Excellent work here. Very nice. The glass just POP'S! :clap:

maverick
11-01-2004, 10:04 PM
Thanks again Arlene!

Thanks Mickie...yes it feels great to paint again.

Thanks dudley...I might have to do more glasses.

k9artist
11-08-2004, 04:26 PM
Hi..I am new to still life..I really want to try a setup like this..with the box..did you use a digital?? how about the flash?? I would think the flash would flatten it too much..how close to the window in the box do you place your light sorce??
Your painting is wonderful!! I love still life with that Rembrant lighting!! I have very limited space to work from..so I think this staging box is what I need to use!
Thanks
Dana

maverick
11-08-2004, 07:14 PM
Hi..I am new to still life..I really want to try a setup like this..with the box..did you use a digital?? how about the flash?? I would think the flash would flatten it too much..how close to the window in the box do you place your light sorce??
Your painting is wonderful!! I love still life with that Rembrant lighting!! I have very limited space to work from..so I think this staging box is what I need to use!

Thanks for the kind comments Dana. I use a digital camera without the flash, then I adjust the brightness and contrast in Photoshop. I have track lighting about 2 feet above the window. My box is on top of another box on top of a table to get it closer to the light. The painting shows the view I have when I'm standing up and looking into the box. This would be perfect for painting from life if I had a proper easel.

Lampburke
11-09-2004, 08:52 PM
I agree, your glasswork is stunning, and your refractive work through the water is wonderful!

maverick
11-09-2004, 10:45 PM
I agree, your glasswork is stunning, and your refractive work through the water is wonderful!

Thanks Susan! I wonder if I should try putting some beads in my paintings? :D

Sandy1
11-11-2004, 09:45 AM
Wow I am speechless! :clap: :clap: :clap:

maverick
11-11-2004, 02:41 PM
Thanks Sandy!

Elmquist
11-18-2004, 08:43 AM
Hi, new to this wonderful web site. Your procedure using charcoal first is and excellent one, especially if the composition is complicated. I use charcoal on the white canvas and then spray it with charcoal fixative. After a few minutes, check to see if anything smears, if not, apply your toner. One precautionary note: draw lightly because dark lines are hard to cover in the lighter painted areas. Also, since I painted with lots of glazes, I like to use alkylds instead of acrylic paints for the tonal underpainting. Just thought I would share. First timer!
Elmquist :cat:

dudley_d
11-18-2004, 05:50 PM
Five Stars!!!

maverick
11-18-2004, 06:13 PM
One precautionary note: draw lightly because dark lines are hard to cover in the lighter painted areas. Also, since I painted with lots of glazes, I like to use alkylds instead of acrylic paints for the tonal underpainting.

Thanks Elmquist...I find that my acrylic underpainting covers the charcoal very well. I do find it more of a problem when painting in oils.

After your alkyd underpainting, do you continue with oils?

Dudley...thanks again!

SilverLady
11-19-2004, 11:55 AM
Such wonderful details. This is a beautiful painting.

I see so much talent here.

Will come back often.

Silverlady

Caron
11-19-2004, 01:47 PM
Mav, your paintings have become eye candy...:) Ive been looking thru the still life forum at many posts and have enjoyed very much the numerous WIP's you have done. I took a look at your auctions and your not listing any more?

maverick
11-19-2004, 04:58 PM
Thank you Silverlady!

Thanks Caron! So you remember my attempt to own one of your paintings then... :D I took a break from eBay, but I'm going to start listing again soon. Perhaps as early as tonight.

Caron
11-19-2004, 05:04 PM
Ha! Thats not what I meant by eye candy but now that you mention it...yes I do remember that....:) I had actually forgotten about that painting and just posted what I thought was my first still life...an attempt at martini glasses. Somehow I thought this one was my first still life... :confused: Cant wait to see you listing Mav, I think you will do very well! :clap: :clap:

idahogirl
11-22-2007, 09:15 AM
Just thought some of the newer members would like to see this.

Dee

Merethe T
11-22-2007, 12:38 PM
And someone would! Thank you, I really enjoyed reading this!

maverick
11-24-2007, 10:56 AM
I can see so many glaring mistakes I made in this painting, and my process has changed a lot since then. But it's interesting to look back.

onefinepint
11-26-2007, 07:51 PM
Your painting is beautiful! I usually work in oils, but you've tempted me to try acrylics. I like the fast drying idea. This would take weeks in oils. Thanks so much for sharing. :)