What’s on your easel Wednesday #3

Because the one thing I get asked the most by anyone who knows I paint is, ” What are you working on?” And because I always love to talk about what I’m working on. And because hey, it is Wednesday…

Time to get down to some real painting!

Last week was all about the lay-in: what’s great about starting a painting.

This week is about p-u-s-h-i-n-g.

With the lay-in, I’m literally laying the foundation for the painting.  Objects are getting placed and shapes are being made.  The painting goes from a blank, white canvas to the beginning of my idea.

I then do a round of painting to adjust the lay-in.  Colors and values get corrected.  Shapes get moved around.  My goal for this round is to get a solid feeling for what the painting is going to look like in full color.  Things are simplified and more abstract than what I’m ultimately heading toward, but the big idea is there.

“It’s time to start working on passages.”

That brings us to the picture above.

When I was in art school, my instructor had an expression, “It’s time to start working on passages.”

I remember asking, “What the hell does that mean?”  I got a few different definitions depending on who I asked.

I finally settled on the concept of working one section at a time and including the space around it.  For a still life, that might mean a vase, and the table, and the object behind it.

I’m no longer just thinking about and painting a single object–a single vase–a pottery piece.

What does the vase look like compared to the pottery piece? Which is darker? Which is more intense in color? How does the lighting on one object affect the other objects around it?

What I’m really trying to do is to think about the space that the object takes up, and what is sharing that space.

It’s that relationship that creates the  feeling of  everything being on the same table, all together.