Tag Archives: still life

Noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger

Autumn, with darker evenings and cold winds, has led to a week of still life painting with apples and jugs taking on starring roles. It has been interesting seeing the paintings develop, each in their different way.

This one turned into an appreciation of the yellowness of fruit.

still life oil painting of yellow fruit

the yellowness of fruit, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

This one, on the other hand, turned into a competition between the subtle colours of autumn apples and the dark glossiness of my red enamel coffee pot. Probably should have knocked it back a bit.

still life oil on canvas painting, apples and jug

apples versus jug, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

Two coffee makers in coversation – the old enamel faithful and the newer steel, eccentric yet efficient little pot. The red pot is best at making Turkish coffee, boiled up inside it and drunk from a tiny cup with lots of sugar. The steel pot is perfect for making enough strong coffee to make two morning cups full, diluted with hot water and mellowed with a splash of milk.

oil still life on canvas, coffee pots

coffee pots conversing, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

In the meantime the large painting was ‘maturing’ on the wall and every time I looked at it – in spite of trying not to – the foreground was leaping out at me and looking not quite right. So, in the end, I gave in and sneaked it down to make the alterations that it seemed to want.

work in progress, large oil on canvas, Crosdale evening

Crosdale evening, work in progress, stage 2, oil on canvas, 23.4″ x 33.1″

Now, it just needs a couple of the highlights putting back in and it will be done, or will it … ?

Work. Don’t Think. Relax.

large oil painting, wip

large painting of Crosdale shortly before being hung up to ‘mature’

The latest big painting I’ve been working on is in its death throes/finishing stages. It’s reached the point where I thought it might be done and so hung it on the wall to ‘mature’ (this is something that paintings are mysteriously able to do by themselves while the artist isn’t working on them). Usually, after a painting has matured for a while you will either be able to see glaring problems that need correcting or you will realise that, in spite of everything, the work is actually done. While paintings are maturing you should only sneak quick looks at them now and again as it’s important to ‘forget’ them in order to be able to see them anew.

An evening of plein air work resulted in several new small sketches and I have placed them below. The light had seemed promising and I staggered out with my kit imagining that I would be sitting bathed in the sun’s last rays as they lit up the fells in spectacular fashion. Instead, the sun disappeared behind a bank of misty cloud and there was very little light to work with – although some interesting pink, red and purple hues did make their way into the scene just before hypothermia set in.

plein air oil painting of setting sun, 6"x8"

plein air sketch, oil on canvas, 6″x8″, setting sun from Crosdale looking west

small plein air oil painting of hills in the evening, 6"x8" on canvas

last light hits the slopes, oil on canvas, 6″x8″, plein air

small oil painting of Crosdale in the evening, on 6"x8" canvas

evening colours in Crosdale, plein air oil painting on canvas, 6″x8″

As winter creeps ever nearer I’ve been working on still life projects more often and enjoying them. This painting of apples (Coxes, I think they were) was one of the first.

still life oil painting, apples, 6"x8"

apples in a bowl, oil on canvas, 6″x8″

I also have plans for a family portrait. The first oil sketch, which turned out pleasingly strange due to the odd lighting we ended up with, is here. The lighting would have been fine but by the time dog and humans had managed to settle themselves in some kind of order the original set up was no longer pointing in the right direction – we should all have been ‘over there somewhere’. So, we are bathed in fierce white light which attacks us from odd angles.

portrait, family, 6"x8", oil on canvas

strange family painted from observation, oil on canvas, 6″x8″