View Full Version : Wrapped Fruit WIP

Dennis Whalen
09-18-2010, 03:42 AM
Hi all
I Just started on a new series of paintings called Wrapped Fruit. So I thought I would post the first one as a WIP.The painting is 36cm x 46cm
or 14"x18". I prepare my canvas with 10 coats of gesso sanding between each coat.I then draw my subject onto the canvas and then ink it on with
sepia ink. The first layer is the Imprematura which is just a wash that seals the surface, I usually use a small amount of Ochre ,Umber and Prussian blue
and water it down with pure gum turps.This dries in about 2 hrs. and I then start the Umbra layer.So the entire painting is done using only umber,I use raw Umber many use Burn't, But I like the effect of raw umber. The medium I use is a Mix of 1 part Drying linseed oil ,1 part drying poppy oil ,1 part Damar to 1 part pure gum turps.This allows the umbra layer to dry by next day, and the other layers to follow dry in approx 5 to 6 days depending on the weather.
Cheers Dennis


09-18-2010, 10:40 AM
Very interesting technique and an absolutely wonderful piece of fine art. It interests me that you did not put a stem on the piece of fruit thereby adding another dimension of depth. That said, this is a fantastic piece - BRAVO!!!

Rob Hendriks
09-18-2010, 11:05 AM
Thanks for explaining the underpainting technique,curious about the progress!

Dennis Whalen
09-18-2010, 07:34 PM
Richard and Rob ,thanks for your comments.
Richard ,the only reason this apple hasn't got a stem on it
is that I've got a series of 6 of these to do and one is a green apple with stem,and a Pear with stem,so I left it off in this one to mix it up a bit
Cheers Dennis

Dennis Whalen
09-18-2010, 09:20 PM
Ok the umbra layer dried overnite and I now start on the dead layer
So basically the whole painting is now painted in grey scale,Like a Grisaille
I use a Mixture of raw umber ,davies grey, a tiny dab of lamp black and flake white. I apply the paint in short little strokes using a 00 round sable

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Sep-2010/281011-Dead_L_1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Sep-2010/281011-Dead_L_2.jpg
Then using a 1/4" blender i blend the paint in ,paint is thicker in the highlights and thinner in the shadows.After blending I go over the area with a sable mop very lightly sweeping over the paint this removes any brushstrokes giving me a smooth surface again.
Cheers Dennis

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Sep-2010/281011-Dead_L_3.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Sep-2010/281011-Dead_L_4.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Sep-2010/281011-Dead_L_5.jpg

Dennis Whalen
09-20-2010, 04:16 AM
Finished the Dead Layer today, now have to wait about 6 days to dry
before I can start on the colour layers,so I'll get on with another in the meantime.
Cheers Dennis


09-20-2010, 09:37 AM
I'm really enjoying this, thank you, it's lovely.

09-20-2010, 05:39 PM
Looking great Dennis! Love the step by step!

09-20-2010, 06:16 PM
Great WIP Dennis...hopefully you'll allow me to copy it to our archive when you finish it? So it can be easily accessed by those wishing to learn.

Dennis Whalen
09-20-2010, 06:36 PM
Thanks Sheila,and Jonathan For your comments.
Thankyou Deirdre,and yes you can put it into the archives when finished,hopefully the rest falls into place as well as it has so far
Cheers Dennis

Dennis Whalen
09-23-2010, 05:19 AM
Ok the paint has dryed very fast due to the warm weather we've been having, so I've started the colour layers on the apple to start with. I begin by first wiping over the area I'm going to paint with half a brown onion, this acts as a sizing allowing the paint to take to the previous layer and not bead up ect, I use a thin glaze of Naples yellow,yellow ochre and titanium biege,as before i use a small brush and dab the paint on ,the blend and again go over it lightly with a mop.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2010/281011-Colour1.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2010/281011-colour2.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2010/281011-colour3.jpg
left that to dry overnite then the next dayI add the first layer of red
this is crimson lake ,rose madder and raw umber in the shadow area
same prosess again only this time I dont blend as much aloowing the yellow to come through and giving thepattern to the skin
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2010/281011-colour4.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2010/281011-colour5.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2010/281011-colour6.jpg

09-23-2010, 06:08 AM
Hello Dennis,

Thanks for the detailed WIP, I love your process of dabbing and blending and your pictures illustrate it very well.

One question: when you blend using sable brush, how do you avoid the brush picking up color and contaminate the other colors?


Dennis Whalen
09-23-2010, 09:10 PM
Thanks Susanne
there is no other colour for it to contaminate,as each layer of colour is completly dry before applying the next,and the 3 colours used in the layer I want to blend together.Thats what is so good about this technique,if I make a mistake with the current layer that I'm working on I can just wipe it off and start over without damaging any previous layers.
Cheers Dennis

09-23-2010, 11:32 PM
Hi Dennis,

Wow, this is very informative. You achieve a remarkable degree of realism. Very impressive indeed. Great stuff. Thanks for posting!


Max Whitten
09-24-2010, 01:45 AM
Hi Dennis,

The value exercise certainly pays off in a subject like this;
Makes it so much easier for the later passages of color; great example.


Value first, Color next

09-24-2010, 04:55 AM
WOW! This is so informative...and very clear in the most visual sense....it really makes you want to try the technique for yourself.... I'm certainly going to rate this one as 5 stars!:thumbsup:

Dennis Whalen
09-26-2010, 04:08 AM
Been away for a couple of days,Had a painting excepted in the Mortimore prize which is a very prestigious prize for realism,so I drove up for the opening.Didn't win anything but It,s all good exposure,and very insperational. Well before I left I managed another layer on the apple just to intensify the colours and put a glaze of yellow ochre on the tablecloth as a base colour .


09-26-2010, 07:30 AM
Dennis - even I have heard of that prize, in the UK....and to get one accepted into the arena is a prize in itself...well done you!!!

09-26-2010, 06:45 PM
I just stopped in to see what was happening in the Still Life forum and found this wonderful thread. Wow!! Nice technique and you have put together a wonderful WIP. Congrats on getting in the show. That in itself was an accomplishment. james

09-26-2010, 06:59 PM
Hi, Dennis ~ I've just gotten back into some still life oil now, what with cooler weather coming. Your process and your results are so very informative. Thanks you for taking the time.

Dennis Whalen
09-27-2010, 12:21 AM
Thanks James and Dan
Thanks Deirdre ,yes I was very previleged to get excepted, there was some magnifecent works in the show.It makes you work alot harder to better yourself and to come up with a better piece for next year.
I've started work on the paper now. scubbling glazes of flake white and alittle lamp black and umber,the paper is baking paper so I,m trying to get that semi transparent look to it .
cheers Dennis


09-27-2010, 02:37 PM
What a great demo! Thank you so much for showing us the different steps. The resulting painting is beautiful.


09-30-2010, 05:13 PM
This is wonderful. Your close-ups of the size of the dabs of paint and the blending is very helpful. As well, noting that there is no risk to contaminating your brush with other colors makes an important point. Congrats on having your painting accepted. We are all looking forward to your posts.

Dennis Whalen
10-02-2010, 01:28 AM
Thanks for your comment Toine and Dale.
I,ve done some more work on the paper and the fabric and shadow,so all I have left to do is intensify the highlights on the apple and the paper ,and sign it.

cheers Dennis


Charles L
10-04-2010, 07:36 PM
One of my favorite demos that I've come across, thank you for sharing Dennis.

Dennis Whalen
10-05-2010, 03:45 AM
Thanks for that Charles
I am itching to get this one finished but the white is taking forever to dry
cheers Dennis

10-06-2010, 04:45 AM
Me too!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2010/33616-3199-thinking.gif

10-06-2010, 01:23 PM
TERRIFIC apple!! :thumbsup:

10-07-2010, 12:11 PM
Just an advice Dennis (maybe needless, but anyway..):

Always work from light to dark. Lightening things up at the end is really very hard. Darkening is far more easy.


Dennis Whalen
10-08-2010, 10:33 PM
thanks for your comments,Robert and Charles
Mark: maybe in other techniques but in the flemish technique the lighter colours to the highlights are the last to be applied.
Anyway I,ve applied the highlights to the paper and brightened up the apple, and I think I will over work it if I do anymore to it
So we will call it work complete
Cheers Dennis


10-08-2010, 10:35 PM

10-09-2010, 02:13 AM
WOW!!!:clap: What a finish! Shall copy this over now....thank you very much Dennis!