For the Limited Color Painting, we had to paint from a still life on a 16×20 canvas. The still life was comprised of white objects or objects with limited local value so that we could focus on pushing shadows, highlights, and mid-tones. I first began by doing thumbnail compositional studies, and after deciding which one to go with, followed up with a larger black and white study done with vine charcoal.
Initial compositional studies based on the still life set up in class.
The larger black and white study, done with vine charcoal using the subtractive method.
A photo of the section of the still-life I was focusing on, edited in the Photo app on iPhone.
A few issues came up while I was doing this painting. Firstly, for some reason, I found it a bit difficult to control the hue of the tan vase when mixing colors. My paint came out much more saturated than it really is, even in the edited photo seen above. However, I ended up being able to counteract this issue by making the background much more saturated as well. In the photo above, in the shadow of the two vases, there can be seen the slightest hint of green. I decided to play off of this in order to make this section vibrant and nonconforming to the original color palette as well. I feel as if in the end, the contrast between the white objects and how saturated the rest of the painting creates a balanced piece. Another issue I ran into while making this piece was attempting to paint the white sculpture in the foreground of the painting. The sculpture has strange proportions and is extremely angular, which made it a bit difficult to translate onto the canvas. There are many sharp, defined lines as seen in the image above, but as I was painting I kept assuming it was wrong and reworked those areas. Eventually, I opted to just paint what I saw and hope that it would look cohesive when I was finished. Thankfully, that was exactly the case, and I am pleased with the final product.
An in-progress picture of the piece.
Overall, I thought that this project was a success, and overall a significant improvement from my last project in the class. Going into the painting, I was still a bit hesitant, and admittedly, intimidated by the change of canvas size. However, as soon as I really began to work on it, I became more confident and went with any mistakes, working on making them an intentional part of the painting instead. In the end, I greatly enjoyed working on this painting and seeing everything come together and really start looking like the still life I was trying to emulate.