Process of Painting a Still Life in Oils

Here is a sequence of photos showing some of the process of painting a still life.  The inspiration was some fresh eggplant (purples) little orangey-yellow peppers, a spring green collander and white garlic with purple stripes.  A plaid and a striped cloth were chosen, and a bottle of olive oil set at the back…

Below shows my view of the still life set up and the under-painting started in order to establish placement of objects and dark and light values.


Below is a close-up of the canvas after adding some of the local colour across the painting.


Now the canvas is quite close to being finished.  All items have local colour and once the cloth and background are done, we can start thinking about a frame.


Gave it a dark background in order for the cloth to pop.  Edibles are still not very pronounced.

Background and shadows in.

Here’s a larger picture below showing the finished painting with all the highlights on the vegetables, and shadows on the cloth.

Highlights in.

Super close-up of one section of the painting.  The orangish outlines are the under-painting still showing through. This is done in order to keep the adjacent colours from smearing into each other as you drag the brush by.  It also creates a vibration of colour next to colour.

Close-up showing just a section of the painting.

Here it is hanging in the Gallery.  Decided to not frame it after all.  And it looks good with the other two wrap around canvases along the top row.

Hanging in the Gallery.


Becoming a Student Again

Painting at my cigar box pochade box on tripod easel

This photo was taken during my previous life where I painted every single day, sometimes numerous paintings; sketched, framed, hung paintings, taught classes, lectured, juried, curated and demonstrated.

Still life set up and outline for study

So in September 2009 decided to become the student again!  This still life above was done during a workshop with a good friend in her studio in Northern California.  We were inside an apple barn converted to a house and studio; completely paneled in wood, hung with fresh paintings, carpeted with old rugs, kept warm by a pot-bellied stove.  In the top photo we were painting horses……  It shows my Guerrilla Painters cigar box pochade box on a tripod – my favourite painting set up for plein air, or visiting someone’s studio, because the height is adjustable for tall people!!

Pear Study, Sept 2009

The pear study was begun in order to test out using a painting medium made of a high proportion of stand oil.  It created VERY juicy looking paint which took about three months to dry completely, but which still retains its “wet look” after two years.  Love this series.

Looking over my shoulder at my cowboy painting

The cowboy and horse study turned out okay for a first one….and that type sells well in the ranching/gold rush town/area where my gallery was located.

My easel with Persimmon/Garlic still life started

This week we worked on still life of our own choice – persimmon and garlic were the stars of the canvas.

Persimmon & Garlic, before completion

Persimmon & Garlic #2, before completion of the cloth.

My Chickens during the critique

Having a ranch full of animals – horses, llamas, pigs, goats, chickens, roosters, etc., one of Diana’s specialties is naturally – animals! We were practicing chickens, roosters and cows!

Cows Outstanding in their Field

Cows painted on 8″ x 10″ piece of gessoed watercolour paper.  The background near top of painting is left open as Diana demonstrated, in her loose drippy style!

Diana’s Apple Barn, Tuolumne, Calif.

A photo taken outside the apple barn…..great subject itself for painting, but the sun was going down fast…..

On Diana’s Ranch, Tuolumne, Calif.

Diana demonstrating

Diana’s drippy demo of pears

Diana’s drippy pears in the middle of her demonstration.  They started out as drips and gradually emerged as pears!  Fascinating to watch!

Diana doing a demonstration of painting horses

Below is a shot of the Cute Cows still on the easel…not quite finished as the stage in above larger photo.  This was a major turning point to be able to grasp the solidity of larger animals in my painting.  I have more practice with fruits, vegetables and tea pots!!

Cute Cows in process while still on the easel

Was sorry when this workshop ended – but learned so much from being a part of it!!!  Thanks Diana!

My California Art Studio

Still Life with Lilies in process…..

Lately have been missing my studio that I left behind in California to come to Israel….. Thus the header here showing part of the interior, paintings, brushes….

Sonora Studio Interior

This photo was taken on a tidy day!  The screen at left is hiding the work area….ie: the messy side!

Showing the messier side of the studio with still life on easel

This picture shows the studio a little more realistically…..  On the easel is a still life of white lilies.

White Pitcher Still Life on Easel

At the right is the left corner of the studio with 8×10 on my larger pochade box easel.  This painting had TWO buyers at the reception night..luckily one collector was there 10 minutes earlier than the other, so there was only a bit of friendly banter over her having gotten it first…..

White Arum Lilies still life set up in the gallery.

Okay – that is pretty large for the page, but it shows the still life, the oil painting…before it was finished… as well as the gallery corner we were set up in.  Painted this with a few friends – really cool to see how each of us had a different view, different style and medium.

Painting Plein Air in Calaveras County, Calif.

Okay – this is the first time I’ve shown this photo that Diane took of me while we were painting out at Melones Lake…. We were out there to get some small paintings of the California Poppies on the hillsides.  We were on the border of Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties… the sides of the hills were COVERED in solid orange.  It was an extraordinary year for poppies.

Poppies painting on easel.

This shows the view looking east up the valley with the lake below, and the hillside covered with poppies. And my sweet little Guerilla Painters pochade box which I had to leave in California till further notice!!  {sigh….}

Miniature landscape of near Oakdale

Near the end of each year we would have a miniatures show and this was one done down in the valley below Tuolumne County outside the town of Oakdale.  There were rolling hills instead of mountains….grassy meadows dotted with green oak trees.

Have a tiny corner with field easel set up here in my little flat that I’ve painted at several times now….  It’s not quite the same.  Am hoping to get outdoors with my pochade box to paint in October or November when it’s cooler.  There’s so much to paint here…..almost too much!  Lots of movement, lots of colour!  More to come………