Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Mini "Pear and Figs" - Step by Step

Since I have a painting up for auction on Daily Paint Works, I have noticed an increase in traffic here. It has been a while since I took some process shots so I figured it might be a good time.

(Above) The finished painting... 6x8 Oil on Panel.

(Above) A shot of the setup, The colors are a bit off.
I always do a still-life from life....because that what it means, "still" and "life" - think about it.....Still-life, right? A painting of fruit from a photo is NOT a still-life. It's just a painting of fruit done from a photo. It could be absolutely amazing, still just a painting, not a still-life painting....and somehow I still loose to them in competitions...but anyway....

I draw in Burnt Umber and White Oil paint with a brush.....I start out very loose and sketch in a color just slightly darker then the surface. The surface is gessoed Masonite, 6 x 8 in, with an acrylic tone on it.

This is my third drawing. I start out very light and get slightly darker as I continue to draw. This is not straight Burnt Umber. If I needed to do a fourth drawing I could have made it slightly darker yet.

I begin to paint working from the object that is furthest away from me to the object that is closest to me. This keeps the depth right. I then begin to paint the deepest darks I see and then slowly make my way up to the lightest lights.

This is the end of the first sitting, about three hours of work total.
I will be adding more pictures as I begin to finish the painting.....

After three hours of work I let the painting dry overnight. I then coat it with medium, and begin to add more details.

After I feel that the objects are finished I then go back in and refine the background. If I am painting objects that will not rot, I paint the background earlier in the process.

Six hours of far. I sometimes go over that, espicially with eggs, and sometimes less if things go really well.

I thought it was done. I was wrong. Every once in a while, after I put a painting up for auction, I decide it wasn't really done. There was something about the grey background that just wasn't working for me. I added this really dark blue background and immediately loved how it made the whold thing POP!

I let it dry and then just deepend the darks of the shadow and added some lighter blues to give it more atmosphere....It's now up for auction and staying there!!!


  1. Clinton. Hopefully you are notified when comments come through on your blog. This is an old post, but a great example of something I would like clarification on. -- Currently I do my paintings in one sitting. In looking at your work, I can see the huge benefit of that second session. My question for you though is you say you let your painting dry overnight and then coat it with linseed oil prior to working on it the next day. How are you able to have a dry to the touch painting in less than 24 hours? If I tried to put a coat of oil on my painting that quickly I believe I would end up with a mess. Do you use a quick drying medium with your pigments to allow for this? I have more questions, but I will post those under relevant blog posts. Thanks Clinton! - Adam

  2. Hi Adam,

    I have two different color palettes. On the first sitting I use Windsor & Newton Alkyd paint which dries overnight. On the next day I coat the painting with a VERY thin coat of oil and wipe off the excess with a lint free foam brush or paper towel. Then I finish the painting with non Alkyd paints. If I use medium, I prefer Gamblin Mediums over Liquin.

  3. Interesting. I haven't used the Alkyd paints yet. Maybe I should pick up a small variety of them to test out this weekend. Is there anything I need to know about them before I dive in? Do they operate/react/feel the same as my normal oil paints? --- Also, if you have a chance... could you post something about the brushes you use? I would be interested in seeing the sizes, but also the types and brands.

    Thanks Clinton - Adam

    1. Hi Adam,

      I would say the Alkyd paints are a bit stiffer then regular paint which is why I use both. They also get tacky faster because they dry so fast. They are excellent for a first layer but not great if you plan to paint for many hours. I have already started painting in the morning and some of the ares were dry by the time I went to bed.
      Try them, worst that can happen is that you don't like them and wasted some money... but it is always better to know.
      I use Princeton brushes. 6200 series and 4050 Watercolor for detail.
      I also have a huge jar of all different types and brands of brushes. Sometimes I don't know what I am going to need and want to make sure I have it when I do.
      I am working on a couple of step by step Blogs which I should be posting soon!