I gave a demo of a still-life set-up to the Melton Mowbray Art Group on Thursday last. The bottom photo is how far I got on the night. On getting it home I realised that the coffee pot and jam-jar were leaning to starboard a bit, so I set the still-life up again in the studio to re-assess, correct the draughtsmanship and take to the finish. Of course, setting it up away from the original setting and lighting necessitated re-painting most of it again, but hey-ho.
I'm quite pleased with the final draft, the last still-life for my upcoming solo-show in Devon. Again, it was an elliptical challenge - I must be a masochist ! The main idea of this demo set-up was to show how to tackle three very different textures; the waxy skins of the satsumas and lemon, the see-through distortions of the angular jam-jar and the highly polished reflective surface of the coffee-pot. Can you spot my distorted left hand in there (reflection, that is) ?
It was an absorbing contest to capture all those reflected lights and colours on each surface, but as I said and always say to my audience, it's simply a matter of close observation and painting what you see, not what you think you see. Easy-peasy really, but observation is the key. I think artists (representational artists, that is) see the world differently than most people; we get so used to REALLY looking, that putting it down with paint gets easier the more we do it, and that is my advice to any aspiring artists - look and look again - there's no secret, it's just training the eye to see, then applying the paint to replicate what you see. Style is another thing - that's how you apply the paint.
Now, how did that satsuma get in the jar .............................?