Tag Archives: Still Life
24″ x 18″ on 140 lb. watercolor paper
I didn’t have a reference photo for this painting, but I did get to know some of the participants quite well. There are over 4,000 little painted squares that make up the crochet tablecloth. I created the pencil drawing freehand causing some of the shapes to be a bit off, but I’ll rack that up to artistic license.
24″ x 18″ on 140 lb. Watercolor paper
$150 unframed/$250 framed
I had recently watched a short piece on Oregon Art Beat about artist Jhenna Quinn Lewis who specializes in Trompe L’oeil paintings. Trompe L’oeil is the technique of creating extremely realistic almost three dimensional imagery. I had tried something similar when I first started painting 6 years ago, but it wasn’t very good and I didn’t know I was attempting Trompe L’oeil.
The Collector is my attempt at Trompe L’oeil while integrating thin strips of tape to mask off areas I want to remain white. These strips represent string that give the painting a more three dimensional look. Geoffrey McCormack, a friend and painter, has created some remarkable pieces using tape. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as they say.
I thought about making the background black, but later got some good advice from my wife-muse that it might look better with a lighter color. So I decide to paint the background as wood. I found a great YouTube demonstration on painting wood in watercolors so off I went.
This entire painting took close to 20 hours. I did multi-layered washes for the wood and even added two more layers after I thought the painting was done. Some of the stamps are real stamps and others are ones I invented.
Favorite parts of the painting? The Duesenberg car stamp and the shadows of the white strings.
I had tried painting marbles before with limited success. I think it just takes some observing. In this painting I returned to my favorite color crayons and added the marbles and a long piece of string. I used automobile detailing tape that was 1/8 inch wide to mask off the string and then masking fluid to mask off all the crayons and marbles. I then proceeded to put a blue wash over the entire paper. After removing the tape and masking fluid, I masked off the reflections on the marbles and the light on the crayons. Finally, I started painting crayons and marbles adding numerous glazes to get the colors the right value and intensity. I removed the masking fluid from the marbles and crayons and spent several hours adding and darkening shadows. I may have overworked this a bit, but I am happy with the results.
The idea for this painting just popped into my head. I’ve done blueberries, crayons and Mason jars before, but I don’t know where the idea for the lone cherry came from. I’ve had trouble with reds before, especially the darker reds, so I wanted to give this a try to see if I could create a shiny fruit. There are about 8-10 layers of red using a mixture of red madder, orange and scarlet. The blueberries are cobalt blue, indigo and red madder.
I masked off most of the reflection on the cherry and the jar then started layering in the reds and blues of the berries, the crayons and finally the cherry. I initially had about 12 berries but I didn’t like the look of it so added the more distant blueberries.
I realize that with the juxtaposition of the crayons and fruit there is a bit of incongruity; but you have to paint what the muses direct you to I suppose and I’m happy with the results. Continue reading