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