Friday, 20 January 2012

Out of the Blue

Its the Year of Painting time again on our Painting Friends Forum and this time we had to make our own creation, from beginning to end.

Number Ten, Your own Still Life creation

Challenge yourself to explain why you chose that particular set up.

I chose to paint one of my collection of gemstones.

This is the photo:

  This particular gemstone is celestite, so named because of its celestial blue shades.
This photo is a close up under microscope, which shows the different value changes within the egg shaped specimen I own.

The lines of the crystal are entrancing to me, within the shapes and shades I find a calming harmony. Under the microscope we can see a good balance of light, mid and dark tones with the overall textural feel of crystalline formations.

Under the heat of the microscope, small particles rose into the air.
Despite my efforts at cleanliness, these are probably dust motes, but they give an interesting effect., hence their inclusion in the painting. They have a movement which adds life.

The set up has a triangular feel to it, with the main crystal point being bordered by an imaginary triangle.

So what really appealed to me the most in this set up?

The fact that this is real and yet it looks abstract.
It appeals to the artist in me who likes to “paint what is” and doubles as a joyous expression of colour, movement and meaning.
Joyous and yet soothing. I feel that one could get lost in the beauty of the creations of the earth and the heavens, if only we take the time to look and enjoy.

How I created this painting.

Firstly, the painting:

 Out of the Blue

I printed a black and white copy of the photo, so I would not be tempted to be a slave to the blues of the photo, just to paint my own interpretation.

I masked a few highlights and then painted the whole page with a wash of cerulean blue. Then I added glazes of french ultramarine and glazes of indigo to achieve the desired effect. There were some glazes achieved by plain water first, then dropping in colour and letting it fizz wherever it wanted.
When all the glazes were complete, I lifted the mask and painted a fine line of shadow under each rising bubble and a little more definition around the whites that needed to be darker.
The resultant painting is not a copy of the photo, more an interpretation of it.

I hope you've enjoyed the painting and the explanation


  1. Wonderful abstract, Pat! I love all those blues!

  2. Well what a great idea! I just love the abstract quality and oh that exquisite colour!! :0D

  3. Weird...your comment came in just as I was reading this post! Interesting post and glorious blues....just love it.

  4. Thanks, Ann! xx

    Thanks Judy, I love it, abstract, yet not abstract! xx

    Thanks Sandra, its something so different, yet gorgeous :) I love the new microscope :) xx

    What timing, eh, Sharon? :)
    Glad you love this xx

  5. I loved it.. As you said it is real yet it is abstract.

  6. thanks, Prabal, nice to know others love it too xx

  7. I love when things are taken to the microscopic level, and become almost abstract. Beautiful work, Pat!!!

  8. Very, very nice Pat. What a wonderful idea. ;-)

  9. This looks terribly difficult, but you made a beautiful abstract painting out of it! xx

  10. This looks terribly difficult, but you made a beautiful abstract painting out of it! xx

  11. Superb job Pat. Very abstract and love those blues
    Have a great weekend

  12. excellent. My favorite color too

  13. Good choice! Unusual subject for a still life, but lovely results.

  14. Oh my gosh, you did an amazing job! I love it!

  15. Beautiful color, depth and texture!

  16. Hello Pat. What an amazing result! The blue colors are so beautiful, like they are shining. Perfect!

  17. Muy buen semiabstracto, me encantan esos azules.

  18. Just beautiful Pat. :) Just truly beautiful.

  19. Thanks, everyone !

    I absolutely adore this microscope that takes pictures and can see me making many more paintings using the photos it produces.
    This blue painting is my new favourite and it makes me happy you could see the joy in it too :) xx

  20. Ciao Pat, che bello! Un tuffo nel blu sempre più blu...mi piace moltissimo.
    Ciao, un abbraccio, Floriana

  21. J'adore tout ce bleu et cette vue rapprochée donne un aspect presqu'abstrait très intéressant. Le résultat est une très belle aquarelle.


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