Celery

Oil paint on canvas – 40 x 50cm

This isn’t quite finished.

I tried applying the white highlights to leafs and reflective glass but ended up with smudges as the paint below was still too wet after 24hrs of drying. A rookie mistake really. The whites became green and grey smudges and not the bright highlights intended.

However I’m learning some of the ways to structure these kinds of Still Lifes and paintings more generally. The lines that order and proportion the canvas, the location of the vanishing point and position of objects are critical considerations before commencing. I now realise they cannot be left to chance.

So in this painting the order comes from the grey square of the rear wall, the vanishing point of the table cloth below the lip of the vase, the water almost level with the eye, and the celery fitting within the remaining frame of canvas. These are simple satisfactions.

Bathroom bedroom

Oil on canvas – 61 x 76cm

Bits of this larger oil painting work and others don’t. I found myself endlessly trying to repaint the bedlinen, to get the light and shade of the folds correct but have stopped as I was getting nowhere. It was also a fiddle, having to lean into the middle of a wet canvas to describe this detail. If I was doing this again perhaps this is where I should have started.

The other difficulty is straight lines. I’m learning that a smudge to indicate a door’s panelling or the shape a book on a shelf perhaps can work. This kind of inaccuracy is difficult having spent years as an architect always drawing straight lines.

Some of the colour and tone is good along with the reflective light but I know I can do better. The next oil painting will be from a day of life drawing which I’m looking forward to.