Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lost Orchid Painting


     My reason for setting up my own still life was to paint what was visually in front of me. I don't want to rely on magazine or book pictures and when they are necessary I will only use photos that I have personally taken. As I stepped back to view this painting; I fixed the things that I could see were  wrong and then after all that time and effort I determined it was trite and boring.  It just was not me!

     My painting made some of the classic basic mistakes:
 * using all hard edges; no soft edges to show the perspective of background objects or the lack of simple variation of technique
 * very little change in value; everything is competing for visual attention.
 *no major focal point; again everything is competing for attention.
 * lacks life or movement
What does one do when a project bombs out? Either destroy the evidence or start over.  I started over.

     Gesso was re- slathered over the canvas much like Huck Finn did to Aunt Polly's fence. At that point the Orchid painting was lost...gone.... simply another evanescent image.

Fear not, another image entered my mind. Here is the first step for Some Like It Hot! My style took a 180 degree turn but this one feels better to me. Wish I had a good answer as to why one feels better than the
 other but I don't have a clue. My son is developing a recipe for a spicy meat rub and I may of been thinking of him as he designs his product label.

Viewing from a distance I noticed that the pepper and hot fire of the drip technique looked too much the same. The addition of more yellow and oranges to the drips makes the pepper stand out more. With black Gesso the letters and pepper outline were tidied up a bit. I experimented with highlights and shadows but I was not impressed. Sometimes a painter needs to exaggerate and kick it up a notch.

To get into the mood I always have appropriate music in the background; this time is was Caribbean music with the up beat sounds of the steel drums.


 A complement touch of green was added to the stem, plus I mixed the red with a gloss gel medium to make the pepper the shiny focal point. Using a palette knife added texture which does not show up well in this photo.

My last thought is to add some black down in the lower portion of the painting to disperse the color throughout the painting. OK, here goes......the final painting.

This one is for you Braden!


Final touches were highlights, shadows that flowed down the page to unite the painting.

Lost an orchid; found a Hot Pepper!!      :)