Going for raw- paintings in progress

June 12, 2015

I’m going to show some interim stages of paintings I’m working on. One reason is that I’m working on 5 at once and it is taking awhile to get to completion on any one piece. Also a factor is that there is lot of movement going on in the way I’m painting, and it is kind of exciting to share the process. Anyone who has been following my oil painting progress knows that from the beginning I’ve been working toward a looser approach- less drawing more painting.

Here is the piece that is sort of the bridge between the highly realistic work I’ve been doing and what I’m moving toward. It isn’t done yet, it’s missing some sparkly white highlights in the glass for one. But I did parts of it with a palette knife. I was going to do the whole thing with impasto, but I didn’t have enough control over the small areas and I was becoming unhappy with the assignment I’d given myself. So I went back to brush. Still, it has something fresh that I like, especially the blue bottle far right.

5 bottles

5 bottles

The next one below was one stage before where I am now. I’m including it because I love it. I just threw down the colours on there, and it has the freedom of some of the 37 minute work I did a few years ago. Even though there are some inaccuracies (shapes of the blue bottles, for ex.) I am sorry I didn’t just leave it as it was. I was especially sad to lose the wonderful rhythmic brush work on the clear bottle in the background.

Blue bottles stillife

Blue bottles stillife


Though I tried not to, I blended too much, with a result of a more polished, less raw feel.
The photo is also a bit too blue-green, the colours are truer in the one above.

Blue bottles still life present stage

Blue bottles still life present stage

I’ll also include Rende’s photo, and you can see that I’m starting to deviate from exact reproduction of the image. For example, the visual pun here, is that Rende has photographed the same bottles I used in the still life, in front of that still life. I’m not translating that literally because the fruit should be out of focus as part of the painting in the background. I like the painterly way I sketched it in there and am leaving it that way.

Bottle still life    Rende Zoutewelle

Bottle still life Rende Zoutewelle

2 Responses to “Going for raw- paintings in progress”

  1. Hi Sarah, although I agree with you about the nice fresh brushwork on the bottle in the previous step, I think it’s intriguing to see the way the background bottle is now ‘out of focus’ – especially in relation to the now extra sharpness in the bottle in the front . One doesn’t expect blurring in a painting, it’s normally what happens in a photo. So this experiment between photographing actual bottles in front of a still life painting and then painting it and photographing etc continues to intrigue me. Best wishes as you continue!

  2. Thanks Eoin, comments from fellow artists are most welcome, I don’t belong to an artist community close by.
    Yes I got fascinated with the blurring as well. I think it was fairly successful on this one:


    Now I’m concentrating slightly more on the surface of the painting than depicting the subject.

    So today I actually did go in and redo that bottle in the same spirit I’d first set it down in. I lose the out of focus look and regain the freshness.
    cheers, Sarah

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