View Full Version : Master of the Month #27 - May/June 2006 (Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin)

04-30-2006, 09:34 PM
Welcome to the Master of the Month #27!

For the next few months we'll be looking at the work of French Rococo artist Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. (1699-1779). In particular his paintings "The Copper Drinking Fountain" and "Water And Glass Jug". Also included will be tips and techniques on rendering glass and copper.

Hope you join us in this study of one of the greatest painters of still lifes and genre scenes!

Self Portrait
1771 Pastel on paper 46 x 37.5 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France


Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon.. French Rococo Era Painter, one of the greatest of the 18th century, whose genre and still life subjects documented the life of the Paris bourgeoisie. He favored simple still lifes and unsentimental domestic interiors. His muted tones and ability to evoke textures are seen in Return from Market (Figure 1.1) and Blowing Bubbles (Figure 1.2). His unusual abstract compositions had great influence.

Chardin was born in Paris, November 2, 1699, the son of a cabinetmaker. Largely self-taught, he was strongly influenced by 17th-century Low Country masters such as Metsu and de Hooch. Like them, he devoted himself to simple subjects and common themes. His lifelong work in this style contrasted sharply with the heroic historical subjects and lighthearted rococo scenes that constituted the mainstream of art during the mid-18th century.

Chardin was admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1728 on the basis of two early still lifes, The Skate (Figure 1.3) and The Buffet (Figure 1.4). In the 1730s, he began to paint scenes of everyday life in bourgeois Paris, among them Lady Sealing a Letter (1733, former State Museums, Berlin), Scouring Maid (1738, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, Scotland), and The Benediction (1740, Louvre). Characterized by subdued colors and mellow lighting, these works celebrate the beauty of their commonplace subjects and project an aura of humanity, intimacy, and honest domesticity. Chardin's technical skill gave his paintings an uncannily realistic texture. He rendered forms by means of light by using thick, layered brushstrokes and thin, luminous glazes. Called the grand magician by critics, he achieved a mastery in these areas unequaled by any other 18th-century painter. Chardin's early support came from aristocratic patrons, including King Louis XV. He later gained a wider popularity when engraved copies of his works were produced.


The environment of craftsmen and humble middle-class people into which he was born did much to determine his life and art. Similarly, his study of seventeenth-century Flemish and Dutch genre paintings was far more important to his artistic development than the academic training he received from Pierre Jacques Cazes, Nicolas Coypel, and Jean Baptiste Vanloo. After having attracted attention at an exhibition Chardin became a member of the Royal Academy in 1728. Thereafter his work received the appreciation it deserved and the favor of the king, who granted him an apartment in the Louvre and a pension.

From 1734 until 1751, Chardin painted scenes of middle-class life to which he brought a special comprehension, and in which children play an important role. He then devoted himself principally to still life and finally, between 1771 and 1775, he drew portraits in pastel that are among the finest of their kind. Chardin was first of all a craftsman, but he was enough a man of his time to have absorbed the subtle tonality and delicate texture of French painting of the era. His subject matter was taken from the Dutch masters but his approach to it was original, personal, and extremely French, as we may judge from its delight in simple yet useful domestic objects, in the basic materials for the pleasures of the palate, and in the satisfaction that derives from performing ordinary tasks in a happy, intimate atmosphere.

As Louis Le Nain had done a century earlier, Chardin portrayed the life of simple French people. As much as we may admire his gently poetic, completely satisfying, and quiet portrayal of people and their surroundings, Chardin's influence in his own time was limited to a few imitators and followers. In the nineteenth century, however, his influence increased when artists such as Manet and Cezanne began to study his techniques for rendering textures, his composition, and his color.


Chardin's career as a painter began in an unusual way. Asked by a surgeon to paint a sign for his shop, Chardin decided not to paint the customary symbols for the profession....a shaving dish and a surgical knife. Instead, he painted a scene showing a wounded dualist being cared for by a surgeon on his doorstep. As soon as it was hung, the sign began to attract great crowds of people who marveled at the skill of the young artist.

Chardin disliked the delicately painted subjects of the court artists. He preferred subjects that were more in keeping with those painted by the little Dutch Masters. His works showed peasants and the middle-class going about their simple daily chores. He chose to show this rather than artistocrats engaged in frivolous pastimes. Chardin saw in the arrangement of simple objects the symbols of the common man. He painted still lifes (figure 1.5) of humble, everyday items. Earthenware containers, copper kettles, vegetables, and meat were his subjects. Chardin took delight in showing slight changes of color, light, and texture. The way he painted these objects made them seem important and worthy of close examination.

Toward the middle of his career, Chardin began to paint simple genre scenes. One such scene is The Attentive Nurse. (Figure 1.6). There is a gentle, homespun quality in this work that is unforced and natural. His brush illuminates beauty hidden in the common place. Chardin shows you a quiet, orderly, and wholesome way of life. You are welcomed into a comfortable household where a hardworking nurse is carefully preparing a meal. Light filters in softly to touch the figure and the table in the foreground. The rest of the room is partly hidden in the shadows. The light reveals the rich textures and creates the changes of value on cloth, bread, and kitchen utensils. The colors are silvery browns and warm golds, which add to the calmness, the poetry of this common domestic scene.

In his old age, Chardin gave up oil painting in favor of pastels because of his failing eyesight. The best of these pastels were self-portraits and portraits of his wife.. Unappreciated at the time, these pastels are now highly valued.

Other reasons have been suggested for Chardin's decision to work in pastels. Some historians have indicated that he used pastels because they alowed him to work more quickly than did oil paints. And, because pastels require less time and effort for preparation. Chardin may have found them more relaxing to work with. Chardin, weakened by illness, died in Paris, December 6, 1779.

Further reading:


Some of his works

Figure 1.1 Return from the market
1739 Oil on canvas
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Figure 1.2 Young man blowing bubbles
1734 Oil on canvas 61 x 63 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Figure 1.3 The Skate
1728 Oil on canvas 114.5 x 146 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Figure 1.4 The Buffet
1728 Oil on canvas 194 x 129 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Figure 1.5 Still Life with a Rib of Beef
1739 Oil on canvas 40.6 x 33.2 cm
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio

Figure 1.6 The Attentive Nurse
1738 Oil on canvas 46.2 x 37 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Image galleries


Some interesting articles on Chardin


04-30-2006, 09:35 PM
Featured paintings:

The Copper Drinking Fountain
c.1734 Oil on wood 28.5 x 23 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Click here for hi-res image (http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=11801)

Water and Glass Jug
c.1760 Oil on canvas 32.5 x 41 cm
Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Click here for hi-res image (http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=11810)

From the WC image library

Copper jugs by WC member Gnu
Click here for hi-res image (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=38907&size=big&cat=&si=copper%20jugs&what=allfields)

Glass and stones by WC member Lady Morgana
Click here for hi-res image (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=59624&size=big&cat=&si=glass%20and%20stones&perpage=24)

Chardin's technique and palette

Chardin’s brushwork was especially noteworthy for his eighteenth-century critics because it was so unlike that of any of his colleagues: “very rough and rugged,” wrote one, “forceful,” wrote another, “generally too rugged to be entirely pleasing,” wrote a third, yet most of them, almost in spite of themselves, admitted that this quirky touch convincingly suggested appearances. Perhaps they were made uneasy by not knowing exactly how Chardin achieved his effects. “It is said,” Diderot wrote, “that his technique is totally idiosyncratic and that he uses his thumb as much as his brush.

read full article here -----> http://newcriterion.com/archive/19/sept00/wilkin.htm

Chardin's technique can be bold even rough it is so at the service of the motif - the visible facts that the natural look that results is taken from granted. Chardin does not conceal his methods but the mystery remains, that is because we do not question the motif the way Chardin does. He questions. Then he retains the answers in paint. He goes over and over the questions until he is satisfied that he can do no better.


Chardin's technique also set him apart from his contemporaries, as he did not prepare for a painting by doing many drawings or studies, but rather started right on the canvas itself. Diderot once called Chardin the 'great magician' because of the way he united color, composition and subject


We must recognize, however, that Chardin's art is more than technique. His brushwork is an index to his notion of the art of painting. We admire technical virtuosity of Van Eyck and Velazquez as a means to achieving a certain kind of realism. Velazquez is, in fact, Chardin's precursor in the magical brushwork when he depicted lacy collars with precise blurs. On the surface of it, Chardin, too, achieves the effect of the visual object without attempting to copy it brush by brush. But his objective is not quite the same; it is not to replicate reality. He acknowledges that our vision is imperfect, and we never see what something actually is but only as much as our vision allows us to see of that thing. In other words, his interest is less in the rabbit as we perceive it but the nature of our perception in seeing that rabbit. This, I claim, is no quibbling.

His still life paintings are not about objects depicted in them but about our seeing vision, and that is what he explores as he paints the same subject over and over. Chardin's still life subjects derive from Dutch painting of the previous century. But Dutch artists were painting objects, and they were placed in proper worldly setting. Chardin simplifies the setting; he even removes, as Manet later did, the line that separates the wall from the floor or tabletop on which objects are displayed. The reality of the objects as objects is secondary, we might say, to the mystery of our act of seeing them. By extension, Chardin's subject is the art of painting; it is art about art. It may be more accurate to speak of the humble craft of painting, remembering how he portrayed himself in his self-portraits. This was before the introduction of the noble notion of art defined by German idealists.


04-30-2006, 09:36 PM
Here's a great palette suggestion from Richard (GalleryOrlando).....as well as an outstanding demo of featured painting #1 The Copper Drinking Fountain.....Thx Richard!

WN Burnt Sienna
WN Raw Umber Green Shade
OH Raw Umber
OH Green Earth
WN Yellow Ochre
WN Transparent Brown Oxide
WN Bone Black
WN Flake White
OH Sepia Extra (brown)
WN Brown Ochre (used for wood grain)
WN Transparent Gold Oxide (used for wood grain)
WN Naples Yellow Hue

rough-in turp sketch w/burnt sienna

rough-in oil sketch w/raw umber green shade

1st coat of paint

A few links from WC about Chardin:


Rendering Copper and Glass

Copper and shiny metals:

Here's a great painting with an example of beautifully rendered copper by Bill (WFMartin).... as well as his tips and techniques to paint this shiny surface. Thx Bill!

When you begin painting copper, the first thing you need to do is to realize that painting any shiny surface involves as much of the painting of the various abstractly-shaped reflections in it as in depicting the masstone of the color of the copper, itself.

On your palette, you should place as many copper color-related paints as you have at your disposal. Some really appropriate ones might be: Burnt Sienna, Cad Yellow Deep, Venetian Red (Terra Rosa), Cadmium Red Deep, Cadmium Orange, Raw Sienna, and, of course, white.

The cadmium colors tend to be a "warmer" version of red, and the Venetian Red or Terra Rosa, a "cooler" version. Simply mix n' match, using touches of each and every color, singly or mixed, wherever each seems to be needed, for the copper color.

Wherever other objects are reflected in the copper, use those colors, but try to keep in mind that there is almost always a little hint of the copper color, even where it reflects colors of adjacent objects.

Metallic, shiny copper is not always the "orangey" color that we often arbitrarily assign to it. It is often a bit colder in its color, having hints of the more cooler reds, such as Venetian Red. A bit "pink", in its appearance, if you will.

More on rendering metals from WC members:

Earth colors (burnt umber, ochre, raw or burnt sienna) are good for bronze or brass with reddish and yellow gold highlights. Gold is just yellows, greens and a hint of red mixed to a light value. Copper is more red and green. Asphaltum and chrome green oxide make a nice mix for a coppery gold metal. Metal is usually reflective so also picks up the colors around it. Best way to learn to paint it is to observe the object you're painting carefully and forget about it being a 'metal' color.

Painting "metal" is much like painting many other highly relective or refractive items, such as glass or water. The best approach to painting "metal" is to paint the reflections occurring IN the metal surface. These are usually quite high contrast values, and are usually greatly distorted "views" of the room in which the metal object is resting, more often than not, including you, (the painter, or the photographer) within those distorted shapes, as well. It is terribly difficult to "make up" or to paint such metal surfaces from memory or imagination. Here's where a good photograph, or painting from life is almost imperative. Paint the reflections, using right brain tactics, where you totally lose contact with "what the subject is", and, instead, deal strictly with the abstract shapes in the reflective surface, copying them as accurately as possible.

As for what colors to use, it depends of course on what kind of metal - you got brass, silver, chrome, gold, bronze, tin, etc. And then there's the matter of what might be reflected by the metal, the surrounding atmosphere, and how polished the metal is, and how prominent you want it to be in your composition. Metal has distinctly defined areas going from black to brightest highlights. There is very little, if any, shading. The more highly polished the metal, the more distinct and sharply defined are the color shapes. For more examples than we could ever post here, I suggest go to the Google home page (http://www.google.com/); click on "Images"; do a search for the metal of your choice - 'chrome', for instance. There are also numerous fantasy-art sites with examples of metallic creatures, armor, vehicles and weaponry. Take time to observe metal objects in different kinds of light. If you can't set up a working example of your subject, try to set up the closest thing you can find that resembles it. Without a lot of observation, it would be very difficult to render metallic objects convincingly. You may want to consider underpainting the metal object. Take a look at how I approached rendering an antique brass plumb bob in this thread: The Red Line : WIP (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=265160)

The trick to painting metal is to remember that their surfaces are made of mostly reflections from neighboring items. Also, to get a really reflective look, the highest, brightest point of light reflection on the metal needs to be the lightest value on the painting. I think it is easiest to put in some of the real metal color (grey for silver, orangy copper for copper) in the areas that will not have strong reflections or shadows. Usually, the pure metal color will not take up more than 25 percent of the pot. Put some of this color, or a bit darker in semi-shadows (thinner application, to paint onto or into) where surrounding objects and table will reflect strongly into the pot (usually the lower half of the pot)... totally avoiding any paint in the area of the highest reflection (usually on pot upper half). Paint the basic shadow areas of the pot, keeping paint application thinner, again, in areas that will reflect items. Then, paint in the basic colors of the surrounding items (fruit, tablecloth, etc), and, while you have each color on your brush, make a few loose, curving (if pot is rounded) swashes of paint into that thinner application of metal color you previously put on the pot, right in back of these items (that makes the reflection of these items). Load up your brush with white or the color you have chosen for the highest reflection. Paint it on strong and clean, and larger than you want the finished reflection to be. Remember, if you avoided painting this part of the canvas with anything, as previously mentioned, you are going to get a pure, bright reflection. Then, you start cutting down this reflection to the size and shape you want, by painting other colors next to it and into its edges. Usually, to at least one side of the reflection will be a small area of vibrant color... often the copper color gone a bit mad, like a vibrant orange. Work the surrounding metal color into the edge of this orange, making intermediate tones (or, add a second color into the area for fun or artistic look). The most important thing about this highly reflective area is to keep the highest reflection point/area and the small area of vibrant color very clean.If you like the look of the loose brush strokes, you can leave the pot this way. For a smoother look, take a very VERY soft brush (even a large make-up brush) and VERY lightly go over the pot in circular motions. A light touch is imperative... you are just picking up traces of color and softening them into surrounding color. The more you brush this way, the softer the pot surface will be... just be careful not to lose the clean color of that wonderful bright, highest reflection.

Some additional info:

Copper Technical: Found in pure state and can be beaten into shape when cold. Alloyed with tin gives bronze. Used as plates for engraving and etching. Oxidises a green-blue. Often mined with sulphur which is burnt off in smelting. Great conductor - wide use as cooking utensils. Copper is usually fashioned using a 'ball-pane' hammer which has a rounded face. This gives it that distinctive ripple effect.
Conceptional: Coins, warm brown colors with irregular highlights. Goes in and out of fashion with house utensils etc. Age-old metal easily beaten into relief panels which some years ago were made into stand-alone decorations.
Presentation: Best given the beaten effect - see below. Hints of green in the shadows with subdued red-yellow hues in middle tones.

Painting: First use a semi-neutral background color such as raw umber to create forms and shading. Add a little cobalt blue to deepen the forms if necessary. Glaze. Apply mid-tones (I used a thin burnt sienna) feather the edges for a ripple effect but do not blend as with silver. Paint highlights wet in wet keeping edges round but sharp. Glaze when dry


Glass and translucent surfaces:

Step by step glass demo from WC art school:

STEP 1. My sole aim in step 1 is to capture shape and proportion accurately. Since the glass is sitting on a white base and I'm painting on a white surface, I leave the lower area of the canvas unpainted for now and begin by indicating the dark background with a wash of Raw Umber and a touch of Yellow Ochre thinned with turpentine. I lay this in roughly as a rectangular shape; it's more practical to lay in this dark area first and then paint the glass on top of it, rather than draw the glass first and add the dark background afterward.

Next, I use some white to draw in the upper outlines of the glass on top of the Umber background. I prepare a thicker white to show the prominent reflections and highlights, such as those found on the rim and in the bowl. I then draw the lower half of the glass on the canvas with thinned white and a bit of Umber. (A bit means a LITTLE bit!). Again, I indicate major reflections - such as those on the stem and base - by using thicker paint

STEP 2. I continually check my drawing so I don't disturb my guidelines as I proceed to fill the canvas with the approximate values. I use white with just a touch of umber for the paper underneath the glass and also fill in the large reflection of the paper in the bottom of the bowl with this tone. Because I'm painting into the raw umber background, this reflection won't appear pure white.

I put the stem and the base of the glass in tones of off white rather than pure white, so that the final touches of white will really glitter by contrast. I use the white will a touch of umber for the light areas such as in the base. For the areas in both the stem and the base that appear a bit darker, I use just a bit more umber into my mixture. The small darkest reflections - such as those on the right side of the stem and on the perimeter of the base - use a bit more umber yet. For the very lightest spots in these two areas I use the white with the slightest touch of umber. Precision counts when painting glass, and I find it necessary to use a small brush to capture the minute but important value changes.

STEP 3. I add ultramarine blue and yellow ochre to my palette. Accuracy in painting all the reflections and highlights is of the utmost importance now, for it serves as a prelude to the high degree of blending required in this step.

First I lay in my final background of raw umber, sharpening the outlines of the rim and sides of the bowl. Now I use strokes and spots of white to accentuate the highlights and reflections seen on the rim and extending from the rear edge of the rim. Due to its curvature, the bottom of the bowl houses a complex pattern of reflections and I use all of the different tonal values on my palette, and a combination of raw umber and ultramarine blue for the darkest spots. I finally dab few spots of pure white for the highlights. The ultramarine blue and raw umber is also for the darkest reflections seen in the stem and base and I use pure white for the highlights. To complete this step I combine yellow ochre and raw umber to outline the perimeter of the base where a yellowish reflection appears. Then I paint the extremely faint shadow extending from the glass to the lower left with white and a bit of umber and brush it very lightly into the white

STEP 4. I add cobalt yellow (aureolin) to my palette to mix with yellow ochre for the yellow reflections. Except for the final bright highlights, the entire process of creating a glassy effect consists of blending what you've already laid in. I begin by blending together the tones in the bottom of the bowl stem, and base of the glass just well enough so that they merge softly.

To show the translucency of the glass against the background in the upper portion of the bowl, I use a sable brush to lightly blend the white rim and highlights into the raw umber already on the inside of the bowl. Notice that slightly more white is apparent in the front section of the bowl than in the rear due to the double thickness of glass that you're looking through. Now I'm ready to add my bright touches of highlights and reflections. These take the form of streaks or dots - such as the yellow streak on the left side of the bowl or the dots of color in the bottom of the bowl.

After changing the paper beneath the glass to a bluish gray, I mix raw umber and ultramarine blue together to use for the shadow around the bottom rim on the right and the cast shadow extending from the left side of the rim


Rendering glass from WC members:

Relative to glass, I have found that Windsor-Newton transparent white works well for reflections. it is of course possible to mix white to produce a similar effect but the transparent white seems to have some value on it's own.

I suggest you concentrate on reflections, distortions, and highlights. It helps to purposely place a subject partially behind the glass - so you can see part of the object distorted and part of it not distorted. Try to avoid a hard outlines around clear glass. In addition to being distorted, anything you see through the glass would have subtler values.

the values behind clear glass are more subtle, and also you'll find that the colors will be grayed, either a great deal or ever so slightly. Someone (can't remember who) once told me that you paint clear glass by NOT painting it. Instead you paint what it does to the objects that surround it.

Put a glass in front of you .. sit there and look at it for ever how long it takes. Remember, you are not painting a glass, you are painting tones and values. The glass is nothing but reflections and muted see throughs.

Paint what the glass does to the scene behind it... but pay very close attention to its correct outline. Also where the glass gets thickest is where some of the most interesting things happen, often displaying very high contrasts between dark and light. A good reflection here and there helps define the reflective quality of glass. If it is a nice thin wine glass, then the background color will actually change little, unless there is some reflection happening.

Here's is a great thread by Alexei(Artpapa) where he demonstrates his glass painting technique:

Images Courtesy of:
The Art Renewal Center

Art in Focus Gene A. Mittler 1989 McGraw-Hill Publishing

04-30-2006, 09:43 PM
IM.. got a bit waylaid.. noticed this thread will run for a while which is good because it is a worthy subject of study.

04-30-2006, 10:01 PM
Heya Donn, I agree, and couldn't wait to launch this thread! There's so much to learn on this subject. Chardin was indeed an amazing painter! Hope you can still join us =)

Mike :wave:

05-01-2006, 09:18 AM
WOW Mike! What a great opening... the info is superb and thorough. I plan to join in... and actually FINISH one of these. Your picks from the reference library are perfect! Thanks for taking the helm on this project.

05-01-2006, 06:28 PM
Chardin was indeed an amazing painter!
Mike :wave:
True that... but he sure was UGLY! :eek:

05-01-2006, 07:41 PM
True that... but he sure was UGLY! :eek:

LOL! It sure takes a confident man to wear that hat and scarf that's for sure :D

Glad to have you onboard Bern! I'm also gonna jump in.... I plan on trying my hand at The Copper Drinking Fountain. I've never rendered metal before... so it should be fun and quite the challenge. L8ter :wave:


05-01-2006, 09:12 PM
I've decided to do Water and Glass Jug ... want to try the glass plus love those earth tones.

What size are you working with Mike?

05-01-2006, 09:57 PM
Today I broke out the ol' table saw and cut some masonite for my copper drinking fountain. Final dimensions: 12 1/2" X 16 1/4".
I have to say... I'm starting to get the urge to create something BIG. Something that's measured in feet u know. One of these times.... I'll have to supersize me a MOM project and see what happens :)


05-01-2006, 11:18 PM
I've decided to do Water and Glass Jug ... want to try the glass plus love those earth tones.

What size are you working with Mike?

bernie.. Water and glass jug for me too. I also like the tones. Thinking about 11 x 14" probably on board. I think my canvas days are numbered. Don't have to spend near as much time building up a good working surface on gesso board.

05-04-2006, 09:06 AM
Applied a STICKY to this thread till our time is up...:D

I painted my background for Water and Glass Jug yesterday. When it dries completely I'll start.

14"x11" canvas board


05-04-2006, 01:19 PM
Nice start Bern! great choice of colors.

I'll be starting my grisaille underpainting later on today.


05-05-2006, 08:40 AM
Drew the objects over the dried background with white charcoal which was easily wiped away when mistakes were made. Will need to let this one completely dry before attempting the water glass.

What are the twigs/flowers to the right...Anyone know? :confused:

Worked on the jug and blocked in the garlic (is that garlic or onions?):confused: ...

This one is hard to photograph without glare...:eek:


05-05-2006, 04:44 PM
It's coming along great Bern! and so fast too! I also can't seem to make out those twigs/flowers on the right. Are you going to exclude em from the painting?

btw...your glass is already looking like glass! cool =)


05-05-2006, 05:51 PM
Thanks Mike... I plan to include the twigs/flowers...

This one sure is hard to photograph... looks a lot better in person.

Palette so far:

ivory black and titanium white mix as under-painting making the dark and light areas and progressions.
Let it dry then glazed a layer of burnt umber on with Luiquin as my medium.
Lightened a bit around the jug with a burnt umber and titanium white mix

burnt umber
cadmium orange
burnt sienna
ivory black
(will add highlights last)

masked in with...
titanium white
gray (ivory black & titanium white mix)
burnt umber
(will detail once dry)

Gonna let all this dry then start on the glass and flowers/twigs...
let that dry then add highlights...
well... that's the plan... ;)

05-05-2006, 08:35 PM
Hi Fellows!

Mike outstanding intro to Chardin!!!
Great info too on painting copper & glass.

One of the best MOMS ever for learning. :thumbsup:

Your research on Chardin has much benefit.
And it is really nice to read all the threads about technique
from our members. It was nice of you to include links
to their posts.
Thanks for all your time too!

LOL Bernie, I thought about the garlic. Chardin
must have been one of the first to recommend
garlic and water for good health. :D

You are off to a very, very good start!

Watching with delight :wave:


05-06-2006, 11:02 AM
Thx Nickel! I appreciate it :)

Finished my grisaille of copper drinking fountain using ivory black and titanium white. 12 1/2" X 16 1/4" on gessoed masonite.



05-06-2006, 12:41 PM
Thanks Nickel... won't you join us? Hope so!

Mike... Looking GREAT! I can even see those little uneven areas where the copper was hammerd into shape...

05-06-2006, 12:52 PM
oooooo - Chardin!!! Great write up and research Mike !!!

Bernie - your painting is coming along superbly !!! Nice quick start, and I like your plan BTW .. :)

Mike, as usual - WOW !! spot on - even with all the little dings.


05-06-2006, 05:02 PM
Hope you can join us Tina... when is your big move overseas?

05-06-2006, 07:05 PM
Hi Tina :wave:
Hi Mike; Bernie :wave:

Mike your off to a wonderful start. Lovely values. I see the dings too!:thumbsup:

I think I will join you.
Just jumped in with a sketch and decided to paint.

Working from dark to light. Got tired, this is my stop for today.


05-06-2006, 08:18 PM
Hip-Hip-Hooray... my Tarheel friend has joined the jolly band! Off to a great start yourself Nickel!

05-06-2006, 08:27 PM
Bernie, Tina, Nickel.... ty all for your comments! wish I could see the "dings" you guys are talking about LOL ....Glad you like em though! :lol:

Nickel welcome aboard! Awesome start! :)


05-07-2006, 01:20 PM
Hip-Hip-Hooray... my Tarheel friend has joined the jolly band! Off to a great start yourself Nickel!

Did you say


Tarheel Band?

I am the one in the back shaking my leg :lol: :D ;) :wave:

05-07-2006, 07:56 PM
Finished... :clap:

This one has been a challenge to photograph... wish you all could see it in person.

Artist: Rosic
Title: "Water Glass and Jug"
Size: 14"x11"
Surface: Canvas Board
Source: after Chardin





Ivory Black
Titanium White
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna
Cadmium Orange
French Ultramarine
Alizarin Crimson
Sap Green
Terre Verte
Flake White

Step 1... Background
Ivory black and titanium white mix as under-painting making the dark and light areas and progressions. Let it dry then glazed a layer of burnt umber on with Luiquin as my medium. Once that was dry I did a simple sketch of the objects with white charcoal. Once glass outline was in I saw I needed to darken the BG within it so added more burnt umber and a touch of sap green.

Step 2... Jug
burnt umber
cadmium orange
burnt sienna
ivory black
Lightened a bit around the jug (on background) with a burnt umber and titanium white mix. Highlights were added once dry with flake white.

Step 3... Garlic
masked in with...
titanium white
gray (ivory black & titanium white mix)
burnt umber
Detailed once mask was dry... highlights were added with flake white. Added little wispy thingys. Shadows are a mixture of burnt umber, alizarin crimson, and sap green with just a touch of french ultramarine.

Step 4... Water Glass
Outlined with flake white. I chose flake white because it is a bit thicker/dryer/less buttery than titanium white. This made it easier to fog out. I started with the highlight areas and simply painted the white shapes and varying intensities of it. I also painted the reflection from the glass the same way. Shadow same as garlic.

Step 5... Twiggy thingy and garlic peels
sap green
terre verte
flake white
Shadows the same as above.

Step 6... Signed it... :wave:

I really enjoyed this one... May just inspire me to do more still lifes! :thumbsup:


05-08-2006, 08:50 AM
Bernie! Amazing job! I reaally like your finished painting. That glass with its reflection on the table is cool....and the sense of light on the jug is great. Thx for sharing each step and congrats on this very successful piece!


05-08-2006, 06:35 PM
Oh Bernie, I just love the step-by-steps!

And you are so fast. Now what are you going to do?

I don't know about where you are, but it is gloomy outside and cold.

I think you did a really super job at the water jug and the garlic and the background, I really like the background. Did you tint the white highlights or did you use pure flake? Has a nice reflective quality just like light.

What do you think? DO you think you like Chardin's style compared to Fechin?

I know each has their quality. Lately, I am leaning toward still life. Set up a table next to a little window. Trying to train to see color and value.

The only problem I am having is I am starting to lean away from the dark colors used, for ex. Rembrandt. I am missing the excitement of Picasso.

05-08-2006, 07:02 PM
Thanks Mike and Nickel! :wave:

Now what are you going to do?
Think I may do a still life in this same fashion... :thumbsup:

I don't know about where you are, but it is gloomy outside and cold.
Jacksonville... cold and gloomy here too.

Did you tint the white highlights or did you use pure flake? Has a nice reflective quality just like light.
Flake white... wish I'd have let it set out a day or so to dry even more. Dave made some great points concerning that on his site... (check out what Biki learned at her last workshop about rendering glass)...

What do you think? DO you think you like Chardin's style compared to Fechin?

I really do... but I'm more into the Fechin look! This was easier for me than the Fechin but not quite as rewarding.

Lately, I am leaning toward still life.

Me too... plan another soon! Maybe even from life... :cool:

05-09-2006, 05:23 PM
This one sure is hard to photograph... looks a lot better in person.

Yeah, here too.

My interpretation.
16"x20" (40.64cm x 50.8cm)

Mike . . excellent write-up.

05-09-2006, 05:49 PM
i'm being a lurker:rolleyes:
everyones work is to die for.
really super work.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :clap: :clap: :clap:

05-09-2006, 06:14 PM
Hi Nickel!! Great going so far !!

Bernie - fantastic job - thanks for sharing the progress shots!!

Richard - lovely!!! Congrats on the "sale" too :)

Hi Lonestar !!


05-09-2006, 06:21 PM
hi tina! :wave:

05-09-2006, 07:20 PM
Hi Bernie, can't wait to see the still from life.
Are you going to do one based on this painting from things you have
at home? That would be cool!

Hi Richard, another sold. Congrats! Lovely painting and the copper sparkels!

Hi Tina, good to hear your going great!

Hi Lonestar welcome!

Hi Mike, I voted you and this thread a five star for all the wonderful info.

05-09-2006, 07:20 PM
Bravo Richard!

Thanks Tina... (remember when you helped me on MOM #1... ;))

Thanks Dawn...

05-09-2006, 07:22 PM
Hi Bernie, can't wait to see the still from life.
Are you going to do one based on this painting from things you have
at home? That would be cool!
I think so... :thumbsup:

Hi Mike, I voted you and this thread a five star for all the wonderful info.
Me too Mike... :thumbsup:

05-09-2006, 11:13 PM
Richard....thx and congrats on the sell.. truly a great painting!

Lonestar, Tina....hi...hope you join us!

Nickel, Bernie....ty kindly for the votes! =)


05-10-2006, 12:29 PM
EEEEEEK :eek: After seeing your finished painting Richard, I was in two minds as to even think of attempting the copper jug thing. But as I have never painted a still life I thought I would give it a try.

I don't have the pic printed off yet, run out of coloured ink, so its 'coming'. So what I did was just fill the canvas with very thin colour running back and forward to the puter.. instead of drawing it. Im using cheap canvas board which I hate drawing on. Looking at the result, I definitely need that photo to pin next to my easel eh!!!! LOL

So this is where I start... I hope to have it finished THIS June :D

05-10-2006, 02:36 PM
Looking GREAT SallyAnn! Nice block in...

05-10-2006, 03:50 PM
Thanks Bernie! I loved yours... those earth tones came out really great. AND SO FAST!!!!!!

You know I'm really hanging out for the Modi month dontcha! LOL

Now while I wait for my paint to dry I am going to have to read 'everything' on here cos I really don't know where to start.. LOL

05-10-2006, 04:04 PM
Hi SallyAnn! welcome aboard.....cool start! :wave:


05-11-2006, 12:12 PM
EEEEEEK :eek: After seeing your finished painting Richard, I was in two minds as to even think of attempting the copper jug thing. But as I have never painted a still life I thought I would give it a try.

Sally, I'm too humbled by other artists to accept "EEEEEEK's" just yet . . but give me a couple of years and I might be ready for a lower case "eek" :)

I've only done a few still life paintings too . . . and was concerned at the start, but gave it my best go and decided to have fun with it.

Technically, I think this approach is to work very hard at being very lazy . . letting the turp sketch and umber painting do most of the problem solving -- workhorse paints. Although I spent the most time on Day 3, it wasn't inventing anything, just laying down color. Most of the the "thinking" part and perspective bugs had already been done before I executed the first brush-stroke of color.

Day 1 : Roughed in turp sketch with burnt sienna
Day 2 : Roughed in umber painting
Day 3 : Overpainting with color, refining.

The original has a reddish color peeking out from behind the paint which is especially visible around the coffee creamer and the wooden legs of the pot. Once you do a burnt sienna sketch type of approach . . you really start seeing them. I think I learned that from Ingres, and he from Jacques Louis David.

Just re-read the intro. Had missed seeing Mike posted my stages. Ooops. Well, hope that helps.

05-15-2006, 02:32 PM
Well I read everything... finally got a colour pic to stick on the wall by the easel and noticed lots of problems! :D So I am going real slow and so far all I have done is paint the little jug on the right. I have just been fiddling with my Vermeer, so am now ready to start working on the rest of this one.

So for now.... the amazing jug... lol :wink2: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-May-2006/46757-Copper1.jpg

05-18-2006, 08:51 AM
Yes it's me again, with an update. Because my printed out pic and the real pic are slightly different in colour I have decided to just go with the flow and do it my way.. lol... have now done the cup, ladle and one leg :) I think the copper jug will be the hardest part for me.. I am going to have to straighten it up somewhat.. wooohoo, that will be fun in itself..


05-18-2006, 09:03 AM
Looks great so far SallyAnn!


05-18-2006, 10:35 AM
Yes it's me again, with an update. Because my printed out pic and the real pic are slightly different in colour I have decided to just go with the flow and do it my way.. lol... have now done the cup, ladle and one leg :) I think the copper jug will be the hardest part for me.. I am going to have to straighten it up somewhat.. wooohoo, that will be fun in itself..


Looking good SallyAnn... we'll be doing Modigliani's before you know it... :thumbsup:

05-18-2006, 07:19 PM
Bernie.. you know how I am itching to start my Mogi for the MOM thread.. lol..
Even hubby doesnt mind that I am doing 'another' one! A friend of mine wanted to know if I would sell the ones I have, but as I told him, I don't think thats quite legal.. I'm so not up with copyright etc. But anyway, Im enjoying this one so much I may even get into the next month one too.. its REALLY great practice!

05-18-2006, 07:27 PM
Bernie.. you know how I am itching to start my Mogi for the MOM thread.. lol..
Even hubby doesnt mind that I am doing 'another' one! A friend of mine wanted to know if I would sell the ones I have, but as I told him, I don't think thats quite legal.. I'm so not up with copyright etc. But anyway, Im enjoying this one so much I may even get into the next month one too.. its REALLY great practice!
I think you'd be safe as long as the friend or client knew it was a cover and your signed the front with your name plus "after Modigliani" after it. Of course you could just keep 'em... I remember them well... so I could see why you would want to keep them... ;)

05-20-2006, 07:15 PM
After a mammoth session today, this is where I'm at. I still have to do the rings on the urn, the top portion and of course the fiddly lid thingy.... I just wanted to get some colour into it to then sit back and go oooohhh.. now I need a small brush!!!

I'm quite happy with it so far.. so that's always a bonus !:D

05-20-2006, 10:48 PM
Well dang... I'm happy with it too... double you bonus! ;)

I especially like the tin cup!

05-21-2006, 06:37 PM
Hi SallyAnn, nice work on your Chardin.
It looks perfect!

Mine has been sitting in a corner.
Maybe I should get back to work on it.
Hope to

Hi Bernie and Mike!

Hi Tina, are you painting?

Did I miss anyone?

Hi to you too! :D

Mike how is your painting coming along?


05-21-2006, 07:35 PM
Hiya Nickel...haven't had much time to work on mine either. It's still in the grisaille stage...and in the corner of my studio too lol
Looking forward to adding a first color glaze soon.


05-23-2006, 03:08 PM
:eek: I'm calling this done! I did some work on the urn today and well I think I could go on forever 'adjusting' this that and the other thing. I still can't get a really good shot of it, I have a cheapo camera that seems to decide what colour it's going to bring out most. In real life, it has a lot more 'browner' tones than red.. but there ya go..... probably doesn't help we got a new monitor and holy $#@! does it ever make a difference.

Looking foward to seeing the others :)


05-23-2006, 04:59 PM
I'm proud of you SallyAnn! Looks great... just a tad dark on my monitor... would love to see it in person! Learn anything doing it that you could share?

05-23-2006, 08:13 PM
Aww, thanks Bernie!! I had lots of fun doing this, and being my first 'still life' was a good challenge.

Looking at it now, yes, it does look a bit dark. The urn is actually quite brighter, but I found when I lightened it up, it washed out all the other colours. I have had this problem with all my paintings when I photograph them. It might be time to invest in a decent camera! Maybe I will try and get a more true to 'light' pic once it gets a bit sunnier here.

I think the thing I learned was to just put colour on in splashes, and not worry about blending edges, defining lines etc. (Something I also found when doing the Vermeer, esp the hat). Stepping back and looking at it from a distance was quite different to standing there painting it. The one thing I had the most problem with was the really bright reflection by the tap/spout.

I try to get books from the library but ours doesn't seem to have anything decent, so I am pretty much reading what I can online, and just 'doing'. I guess it might have helped if I had had at least a little bit of art education/training, but for now, just having a go is where I am at. Perhaps once I get this residency sorted out in Canada, I can actually attend some courses! :rolleyes: Having said that, though, I am pleased with the result!

05-24-2006, 08:09 AM
I try to get books from the library but ours doesn't seem to have anything decent, so I am pretty much reading what I can online, and just 'doing'.

I think the "just doing" is some of the best training one can get. It's always important IMHO to step back and analyze what was "just done" to see likes, dislikes, and what was learned... an education in itself. These MOM projects are perfect for that. I've learned as much from them (if not more) than I have from any book. You are developing skills with each stoke and your work is really stepping up a notch. How did you like doing a still life? I sure did and plan to do many more.

05-24-2006, 08:52 AM
I surprised myself by REALLY enjoying doing this project. I haven't been much of a fan of still life, but I think I will try some more too! I think stepping outside of your comfort zone to 'give it a go' has paid off in terms of learning something new. When I rifle through my paintings from when I first started, I actually cringe now thinking that at that time I thought they were good... :D

I have run out of canvas though, so have to wait til the weekend to stock up. (and of course get one for the Mogi MOM!). So for the next few days I am going to reuse an old 24x24 canvas (being one of those first paintings) and *gulp* have a go at a Renoir!!! LOL!! :eek: I have a lovely dark green frame, and have been trying to put something in it for about a year, so this one will be another to add to my growing collection of art on my apartment walls!

Added: Posted my pic to my little website, its a bit lighter, but the colour still doesn't look quite right.. grrr... http://www.geocities.com/parsarnz/StillLife.html

05-24-2006, 04:49 PM
When I rifle through my paintings from when I first started, I actually cringe now thinking that at that time I thought they were good... :D

That's why all artists eventually learn how to travel back in time -- to destroy all our crappy work ;)

Try a photograph of it outside, should help.

I figured that little thing next to coffee creamer was a chocolate chip cookie -- just curious, what did you think it was?

05-24-2006, 05:03 PM
I figured that little thing next to coffee creamer was a chocolate chip cookie -- just curious, what did you think it was?

I couldn't really figure it out, but I think irl, mine looks like a button mushroom upside down! :D I thought it might be like a stopper for the top of that little jug, keep the flies out?

05-27-2006, 10:36 AM
I don't know about this painting at all. I think I offically hate it.
My attempts have been a disaster from the start.
Just way to dark, so I think it will be the last anyone will see of it
after today except it will live here as the disaster it is.
I think it is called having two left feet.
What did I learn, I can't paint like Chardin.
I can't paint a copper pot. And my camera should be put in storage.
Does it sound like I hate this painting? I think so.
Lol, makes me want to put it in the street and run over it with a car.
Days like this you just want to throw in the towel.

After Chardin


05-27-2006, 09:40 PM
Hi Nickel, I think your painting looks nice! free and loose....congrats on finishing it!......I can't seem to get mine back up on the easel =O My cold grisaille is in dire need of some color. I really hope I get back to it...before July that is =)

Mike :wave:

05-27-2006, 10:28 PM
. . makes me want to put it in the street and run over it with a car.

Scattered around over the years are quite a few paintings I've done entitled: "self-portrait as I burned my paintings".

Serious. I really do.

I'm not sure if we can improve if we don't reach a point of hating something about what we do . . so on the bright side, congrats, and welcome to the next level . . now you'll have to learn new words like "loathe" and "distain". Figure out what you did right, try not repeat the failures.


Suggestion: You have the browns and reds in the pot, so try dry-brushing some greens and tans to bring out more of a copper feel to it. The greens would be more in the shadowy areas, hidden in plain sight -- think of it like street magic, sleight of hand. Or look up the correct definition for "scumble" and try that with the tans. Doesn't need much. Then call it quits.

05-27-2006, 10:46 PM
Nikel - i like it too ! I can totally understand the frustration.. I am going thru that now as I picked a Renoir to try.. but I found out I 'don't' like his style, on closer look at the painting, I think she is a bit ugly.. so instead of chucking it, I am going to do it 'a la sally style' , and put it down to experience!

05-29-2006, 02:38 PM
I admire Chardin's work very much. I wish I could see it in person. It is the simple subject painted with so much respect that is so beautiful to me.

One day I may try again, this painting will just remind me to study and work harder toward my own goals.

Moms are a great way to explore and learn. Thanks to everyone for their support.

Good Luck Mike getting the color on. SallyAnn, take care in painting your Renior 'a la sally style'. Richard fair sailing into your next adventure.


05-29-2006, 11:09 PM
Nickel... don't beat yourself up deary... If you learned something along the way your time has value. I personally love your cover... especially the texture. I definitely see copper and love your background work as well.


06-01-2006, 03:47 PM
Hey Nickel........ can I borrow your car to run over my Renoir??? LOLOLOL

I feel exactly the same about 'it' as you feel about your Chardin. However, even though its not very good, I threw it into a frame we picked up from beside a photography store throwing out frames. Makes is look better methinks.. hehehehe. I DID learn tho... I don't like that style of painting.. so at least something interesting came out of it for me, so that's the best way to look at it all.

06-01-2006, 05:05 PM
lol SallyAnn, sounds like we could have fun in the streets driving over paintings. :lol: For sure someone would call the coppers and say there are wild women in the street doing something wrong.:lol:with time I am sure we would regain our common sense and take the paintings out to the country and make kites out of them. I did see in a store here where they now have the Mona Lisa as a bath mat. You can also buy a Mona Lisa shower curtain to match. That is really bad.

I found the picture that I want you Mike, Bernie and Richard too to see if you have time to wander over to this thread. If Donna was still around I'd ask her too to look. Anyone else is welcome to comment too.
so tell me do you see anything similar to Fechin's Eya or the technique?

Mike do you know who was Chardin's teacher?


06-03-2006, 10:31 AM
Hi Nickel, from what I read....Chardin's teachers were Pierre Jacques Cazes, Nicolas Coypel, and mostly Jean Baptiste Vanloo.
Duveneck 's Venetian Woman looks soooo much like Eya. It's gotta be the same girl! or at least strongly related.
Thx for link....I always enjoy discovering new realist painters. The virtuoso of the brush Duveneck was no exception =) I prefer his technique and work over Fechin's =O


06-03-2006, 12:13 PM
WOW... what a resemblance... thanks for sharing Nickel!

06-15-2006, 05:46 PM
Sorry it took me so long to get back. Thanks Mike for the teacher info.
Will have to look them up. Thanks too for taking a peek at the Venetian
Woman, you too, Bernie! I am glad you both see what I saw. :D Striking
technique too. Nickel

06-15-2006, 07:08 PM
Nickel... are you going to the Cheap Joe's art expo in Boone on Saturday? A few of us are and plan to hook up... let me know.

06-15-2006, 09:46 PM
Bernie, thanks for asking!!!:D
I'd love to hang out up there, breath the fresh mountain air
and see all the art goodies!!!!
Are you guys signed up for any classes?

I hope maybe this fall I can go to the Jerry's thing in Raleigh.
Not for classes, but to just browse around and
maybe buy a brush or paint :)

I would love a rain check on another time.
Papa (sweet name for hubby) has me booked for the whole weekend.
It's Father's Day and he has his list :D
Nickel is on it !!!lol

Hope you all have a great time!
I know you will!

And Happy Father's Day to all my buddies!


06-15-2006, 10:23 PM
Maybe we all can hook up in Raleigh in November...
Have a great weekend!

09-01-2006, 10:57 AM
I find when painting glass, the best route is to not pint the glass at all; rather, paint what you see through the glass and any reflections thereon. You'll end up with transparency and a believable painting.


09-03-2006, 10:56 AM
Wow. I've been absent for a while and stumbled on this site. I'm overwhelmed! I might try a version or two. (I did have trouble opening this page 'cause there's so many BIG pics on it. Almost gave up but glad I waited.)
I'll be back. There's too much to process in one reading.