February 11, 2006

I LOVE the smell of fresh strawberries

I picked up a basket of fresh strawberries at the market for my students to paint on Tuesday. I was inspired as well. How fun to sit and paint while smelling the delicious fresh berries.
My biggest challenge is to get enough light into my paintings, I work in a dark basement studio that I light with full spectrum bulbs, under these conditions the paintings look vibrant but when put in natural light in other parts of the house they seem dark, the values in the mid to dark range. I'm stumped as to how to resolve this issue. Any ideas?


tlc illustration said...

We're working on value in my classes right now. Betty Edward's book on Color is amazing in terms of translating color into value (I'll try to remember to bring it on Thurs). If nothing else, maybe check your value sketch somewhere else in the house, or outside to make sure it reads how you'd like and *stick to it* as you paint.

Also, have you looked at any NC Wyeth or Howard Pyle recently? Totally different subject matter, but they were terrific at keeping their overall light and dark patterns defined and proportionate to each other (usually 1/3-2/3). If you impose some kinds of parameters on yourself I'm sure you'll be able to keep the values where you want them.

Personally, I don't mind the darker still lifes. Reminds me of the old baroque paintings, also many of the Dutch masters - lots of very dark background, which made for fairly luminous subject matter...

tlc illustration said...

(I kind of want to cut off the bottom fifth of this painting - making it nearly square. I like a bit of the dark side of the dresser -but the rest is uninteresting to me and doesn't feel like it adds to your overall composition...?)

Rebecca Bush said...

Hi Michelle,
I would just brighten the colors on the highlighted side and darken the shaded areas. Just make it up. At some point you can choose to leave reality and the limits of perception and make your painting what you want it to be. As one of my painting teachers used to advise us, we are not cameras!
Lovely strawberries! Now I'm getting hungry!