I love the deep red of the mango. I bought one to paint. I have been attending a still life painting class taught by Philippe Gandiol, a native of France, but who now resides here in Davis for many many years and a second career artist. It’s interesting to know someone for many years and see their progression.

Recently I felt I needed a punch in the arm with my still life paintings. I wanted to go beyond the ACEO paintings of one fruit. Taking Philippe’s class is what I needed. I’m paying more attention to composition and more complex design. (Here’s a link to Philippe’s still life paintings.)

Mango, 3.5 x 2.5 inches, oil on paper

In Still Life with Mango, the mango is the focal point with its strong color. It sits somewhat in the “thirds” section. I paid attention to the circular direction from the mango into the flowers, down through the stem to the cut off bud, back to the mango. Normally I would painted the flowers how I see it, strong red but thinking about what is the focal point I push back the flowers by fading the colors.

Still Life with Mango, 8 x 10 inches, oil on linen panel

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Orange 2015 more resolution
Orange, 2015, oil on paper, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, ACEO

“Orange” was done in the flavor of David Leffel. In his video, “Creating Form with Paint” he talks about dealing with the two edges, the inner edge between the light and shadow pattern and the outer edge which is the edge of the orange and the background.

The inner edge is dealt with simply by dragging the brush between the light and shadow to soften. The background color can be used to soften the edge.

But the way Leffel dealt with the outer edge was a great technique that I learned. The tendency is to slightly darkened the outer edge and lighten to wards the highlight. But the illumination is lost. Leffel shared that simply lightening the background next to the edge will maintained the illumination. Just a thin slight lighter strip of the background.

It’s a brilliant technique and I just love the effect.

Three Blueberries

I have to say I’m having a ball just painting fruits…tiny paintings of fruits. This one is a tiny painting of only 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Quickly done up within the hour. At first glance, the blueberries appeared as one solid color; but the challenge here was to capture the various subtle colors of blues. The more I developed those slight variations of blues the more realistic they became.

Three Blueberries 2015
Three Blueberries, oil on canvas panel, 2.5 x 3.5 inches, ACEO


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