Sunday, August 17, 2014

At the Market - Painting a French Marketbasket

I find inspiration for my paintings from many sources. The inspiration for the painting above came from browsing through a travel magazine encouraging visits to rural areas of France. I loved the look of the market place and decided on selecting one of the elements of the scene.

Many beginning artists attempt to paint an entire scene which is complex with many different perspectives. And, then become frustrated when the painting just "doesn't look right." I encourage my students to pick one part of a scene that draws them and focus on painting just that part. This is much less daunting and easier to achieve. I will often paint elements of a scene individually and then combine them in another painting.

I used masking fluid on parts of the lavender blooms so that the areas behind the blooms could be painted easily. After the masking fluid dried, I worked from the background forward to execute the painting. The following colors were used:

Background - Indigo
Market Basket - Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Sepia
Lavender stems - Sap Green, Hooker's Green, Ultramarine
Lavender blooms - Violet, Ultramarine, Alizarin crimson
Blackboard - Ivory Black
Blackboard Frame - Same as basket
Chalk - Chinese White

After the background was painted in a wash of Indigo and allowed to dry, I started work on the basket. Using a wash of yellow ochre, I applied the paint in a wet on wet wash using a large round brush, adding deeper colors before the first wash dried at the edges and in various areas to add character to the basket. See the photo below with a closer view of the basket.

Next, I painted the lavender stems using a wash of the colors listed above in various strengths to give the stems some detail.

The blackboard frame was painted in the same manner as the basket using darker color on the edge to distinguish it from the basket. After the frame dried, I painted the blackboard. However, I did not add the "chalk" until the final step - after the lavender blooms were painted.

After the basket and the frame dried, I used a dry flat brush and Burnt Umber to add the wood grain in several areas.

Painting the lavender blooms, started with a wash of the lightest violet. See the photo above. After each wash dried, deeper washes of violet was applied in various locations. Using a round brush, I added the shape of the blooms.

The final step was to "write on the chalkboard." I used a wash of Chinese White and the tip of a round brush. Allow some of the blackboard to show through to realistically look like chalk.

Review your painting for any final touches! When complete, sign your painting!

Until next blog........

Happy Painting!