Daily painting: little white jug

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Little white jug, oil on board

This was more challenging that I thought it would be.  Jugs are complex y’know, like cups and glasses.  It’s the elipses.  I always draw them wonky.  In the main I do like it – there are things that work: the blue backdrop, the drawing itself, the edges, the values.  I’m a little concerned that the shadow on this side is verging on mud.

All my little still life daily paintings are painted alla prima.  In fact everything I paint is done in one go – otherwise I’d have a lot of half finished and never finished pieces sat around.  Painting is one of the few things in my life I actually complete.  Cheers to that!

Daily painting: egg

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Egg, oil on board.  Total apols for photo quality

I snapped this with my phone and it had such great light I’ve struggled to replicate it on my proper camera.  Anyways, folks on Instagram loved this painting!  And so do I.

I love the colour of the cloth, and the simplicity of the subject and composition.  There is nowhere to hide with this one, but honestly I don’t think there’s anything glaring.  It wasn’t easy though – mixing that shadow colour drove me loopy for a good half hour.

Daily painting: apple

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Oil on board, painted from life after joining the Marine(s).  See what I did there? Eh?! He he
I have an extensive library of reference and instructional art books.  I use online classes too, but if there’s a book in the offing, I’m buying it.  Single handedly keeping Amazon afloat.
My latest purchase is called Daily Painting by Carol Marine.  I love Carol.  If I moved to Oregon, where she lives (and believe me, I’ve considered it – the landscape is stunning), I would make her be my friend.  Not because she’s an artist, but because she’s genuine. And funny.  None of this “I’ve been painting since forever, I’ve just always been able to do it, it’s a gift” crap, from Carol.  Noooo, the artist struggle is real and she articulates it so well.  Her honesty made me recognise my own struggles are normal.  Ok, perhaps not normal, but common among creative types.
One of the the key messages from her book for me was this:  paint every single day.  Every day.  Not twice a week.  Though perhaps, realistically not 7 days a week.  The point was to make it a thing you just did, preferably daily, like cooking an evening meal.  The reasons for this approach are myriad but include: getting better quicker and not investing all of your expectations (and ego) into the one painting that you’re doing that month.  Because tomorrow you’ll be doing another one.  And you’ll forget about the one you did today.  Each painting is just a stepping stone to the next.
Well, after going around in circles, this is a break I need.  So, daily painting it is for me.
Interestingly, this is not the first apple I painted.  Below is an exercise I completed aaaages ago along side one of Will Kemp’s free tutorials, and I rather love it, though painting something from a photograph is very different from painting from life.  My apple above is more painterly I would say, but there’s something about this one I love.  Besides, it gave me confidence to carry on.  I also painted the cherry courtesy of Will Kemp too, so thought I’d add it in here too.  Honestly, these two paintings were pivotal for me in beginning to understand what sort of art I might be favouring.

Encajar

PicMonkey Collage

This was the first piece I did using the “encajar” method, which means to encase.  I’ve also heard of it as the “envelope” method too, but I prefer encajar – it just feels nice when you say it!  It is an approach to drawing where you start by boxing in your subject: that is, to encase it in a box of the correct proportions, and then carve away the angles.  Always working with straight lines, which are easier to measure with the eye than curved, you can then place your landmarks accurately before moving on to defining form with contour lines and value.
Annoyingly, I didn’t take photos with the encajar lines in place!