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Oh No, What Have I Done?

Posted by Gayle Levee, 29 January 2011 · 315 views

After two days of teaching, I'm ready to get back to the easel! Last session was fun: I had solved my problems of composition and theme, and quickly got the basic idea onto the canvas.
Now it's time for the weird part: the "structured drawing" and "painting through."

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Both of them look like I've ruined my painting! It's almost mortifying to even post this picture at this stage. Lots of artists, in fact, skip this stage. Some people don't even know about it, but even when you DO know about this step, it's really hard to make yourself do it.

You can see in the picture that I have painted some of the background color back OVER the vase and fruit, and furthermore I have drawn lines on the vase and even drawn some of those lines over the fruit. This is not because I can't control my brush and accidentally got paint all over the vase and the fruit. This counter-intuitive mess is crucial to achieve the illusion of light, depth and form that I want to get in the painting. You see, to make the vase look like it's curving back into the background, I need to put background color into the edges of the vase. And in order to get the shape of the vase to look three-dimensional, I need to "draw through" the fruit.
Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the result. It'll look good. Trust me, I'm a ... an artist.

Gayle, This is so interesting but I am a little confused. You painted your vase and fruit and then painted the vase over the top again??? Or hadn't you painted the vase at all to begin with? If you had painted it first couldn't you have put all that blending and and illusion of light, depth and form in the vase first and then painted the fruit in front? There is so much to learn and you seem to have all the knowledge I will ever need to call upon, but could you explain why the vase couldn't have been painted fully in first, please?


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