Your Daily Painting: Paying attention to the Surface

3 daily painting studies.

Red Onion 6"x 8" Oil on linen mounted to panel

White Onion & Garlic 6"x8" Oil on linen mounted to panel

Onions and Garlic 12"x 6.5" Oil on linen mounted to panel

Onions and Garlic 12"x 6.5" Oil on linen mounted to panel

Here I have three examples of some root crop I painted from the local farmers market. I really enjoy painting the different textures and subtle earth tone colors of onions etc. The colors and textures are quite opposite to most fruit, which typically have shinny surfaces along with more intense colors.

In Onions and Garlic above, I particularly found the green onions to be a challenge. Primarily because the bulb has a translucent skin. But going up the stalk in turns more opaque. And the little roots are simply a challenge all to themselves, don't let them overtake your painting - simplify them.

So if you are painting still-lifes you might want to try alternating painting fruits and vegetables to help yourself better understand how to handle different surfaces. In regards to the surface quality, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Is the surface smooth or rough? How reflective is the surface? And also, is the surface opaque or translucent, or perhaps I should say, how translucent is the surface?

It's very hard to answer these question here because there are so many variables. But in asking these questions as you paint it will simply help you be more aware and responsive to the subject and hopefully see what is "actually there". Paint what you really see. I will be going over these concepts more thoroughly in later posts.

 

~Don't forget to squint~