Friday, 20 May 2011

Raw Cider

Its the monthly challenge time of the Painting Friends Forum.. and this month's challenge was a still life.

So here I am showing you all the thought processes which went on behind this painting. I don't usually write all this down, but the judgements are made before any painting starts. Planning can be useful, as I found out when trying out the realistic abstracts. More chance of a successful painting if you know where you are going with it.

Firstly I set some goals for my thumbnail sketches.

These were :
  1. do a thumbnail showing the scene as is
  2. on the next two thumbs, change the background and foreground to remove clutter and try to contour draw too
  3. on the last thumbnail, keep the focal point, but be completely off the wall in the scenery
  4. Choose which one of these thumbnails to paint.

Choosing (2), the choices for the painting were to try to

a) paint in a tight style
b) or a loose one

I chose to paint the scene (b)
I wanted to achieve a painting that had a cohesive mix of broad strokes and realism.
I also wanted to test out some colour choices so did this very rough colour sketch:

So, here's the painting:

Raw Cider

What works and what could be improved.

I think the apples work, and the background too..
What could I improve? Probably the folds on the cloth, they are almost pointy.. if I did it again, I'd make them more curved - that has a softer appeal.

Challenges Faced

The challenge in painting this was to leave the background alone once painted and let the rest of the painting form around it.

Share Personal Goals and whether you felt you Met Them

My goals were to make the four thumbs again, to test out some colours on a small piece of paper and then to be as bold and decisive as I could in one stroke with everything but the apples.

I did meet that, after deciding that I wasn't going for an exact replica of the cloth – more a feeling of it.

How I created the Painting.

I created the painting by wetting the background first and making several one stroke passes with a 1in flat brush.

Then I made one stroke passes for the cloth, using the flat brush, both flat and on its side for the thinner stripes.

The apples were made with thin washes one after the other. The farthest having fewer washes and the nearest having the most.

Size of Painting, Medium, Palette and Brushes.

The painting is on Arches Aquarelle Rough 140lb and is quarter sheet. 15”x11”

The medium is pencil for the under drawing and watercolour for the painting. W&N artists quality .

Palette colours used : French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Aureolin, Burnt Sienna, Winsor Yellow, Sap Green, Terre Verte and Cerulean.
Brush: Sceptre Gold 1” Flat brush. Kolinsky number 12


  1. Great to see all the steps you do! I like the folds in the cloth very much.
    I don't work as methodically as you, but most of the time I have a rather detailed picture in my head how I want the painting to look like. If I don't I usually get in trouble going along.

  2. Hi Pat, It's interesting to read about the process you used - is this one given to you by the forum or one of your own? I need to start planning my work more, doing thumbnails and paint tests and the like!
    I think the end result is a very nice painting that you can be extremely pleased with :)

  3. Thanks Judy. Mostly my work is in my head too, apart from I am finding the thumbnails useful :) xx

  4. Thanks, Michael, glad you find it interesting.

    the challenge asks us to make thumbs or notans, but they are optional. The painting and the bold headers are the things we have to report on :)

    You'd be more than welcome if you wanted to join and participate in all the goings on at Painting Friends :) xx

  5. Dear Pat,
    Congratulations!! I particularly love your colour, contrast, handling shadow. Hardwork has paid off. Thank you for sharing the precious process. Keep up!
    Cheers, Sadami

  6. Good morning, Pat. It is interesting to see and read all the work an artist puts into a work even before a brush is picked up. Thank you for this post.

  7. Great post, Pat! So, you find the thumbnails a good step? I always skip it, but maybe there is less erasing later when you use that step!

  8. Beautiful this work! Good weekend to you and Missy! Arianna

  9. Love the final work - but so interesting to see all the thoughts there too
    Thankyou so much for sharing! I have to be honest when I am working I dont have 1/2 the thoughts behind it - more like 'Ohhhh shiny' and I go for it :) perhaps I should think a little more, thankyou for the inspiration

  10. I love how you explain about the whole process , so interesting and so many inputs. I think the painting works very well, but yes, the cloth could be more round, but all in all it is a success!

  11. Thanks, Sadami. I am seeing the benefit of the planning.

    Thanks Kathryn. Mostly the work is in my head . Just I had to write it up for this challenge. The thumbs and colour sketch, I have to do , of course :) xx

    Sheryl - they are so useful I'm now doing them more and more,even if I don't show them. I used them for a few of the abstracts. Really useful.

    Thanks, Arianna - hope you have a good one too :) xx

    Thanks, Pam. It seems in art, to be clear about the end result, it is best to put some thought in.. and then it makes it easier to produce a good painting. xx

    Thanks Jane. Glad you like the painting - and that's about the only point I was too literal with the photo. I accepted pointy folds when for this painting, rounded would have looked better, I think. But overall I'm happy :) xx

  12. I like it Pat - Just as it is :0)

  13. Dear Pat, you are very generous in sharing your work process and I always learn so much from you. I think you achieved your goals in this painting and, like Judy, I really like the folds of the cloth, I don't think they need improvement. Beautiful work, xoxo

  14. Thanks, Sandra :) xx

    Thank you, Anamaria. I am so glad to hear that you can learn something from what I do. And I'm very pleased you like the painting xx

  15. Those apples do 'work'. They look shiny and ready to eat!

  16. Pat your planning for execution is very good. Already have a composition previously studied, thus gives you more freedom to interpret and work with the brush.
    Approved Pat.


Related Posts with Thumbnails