"From Our Garden" 8x10" Oil on Canvasboard

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Had fun painting this today, not least of all because it's fresh produce from our very own garden which we've been working on for over 6 months now. I was also thinking that for the next online workshop we'll include some glass object in the still life painting to really put our observation skills to the test. I have only painted a few glass objects till now so I was trying to analyse this one carefully to gleen some small painting wisdom to pass on. The hardest thing to do here was, as always, to just paint what I saw. More importantly, close one eye and squint, or go slightly blurry eyed, and try to paint what I see like that.

More than that, you need to trust your eyes rather than your brain, and judge colours and shapes not from what you know, but from what is there right in front of you. The moment the brain pipes up and says 'hey I know how to paint this - no need to look!' you need to show it who's boss by ignoring it completely and painting with your eyes. Compare compare compare. Get the big easy shapes and the bold easy colours right first and then compare everything to those, and compare each to its neighbor. If it goes wrong, scrape it off and do it again until it's less wrong (or until you can't be bothered any more).

That's the secret to painting glass and to painting everything.

I must remember that. :-)

I'll try to be a bit more glass-specific in the next workshop when we tackle that - this was just a practice.

Have you got any tips on painting glass you'd like to share in the comments below?

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Comment by Edith McClelland AEA UWA WCSI on March 27, 2012 at 14:36

Sorry.... forgot to mention, this is a watercolour.

Cheers Richard - looking forward to the next workshop already!

Comment by Edith McClelland AEA UWA WCSI on March 27, 2012 at 14:33

You hit the nail on the head Richard.... "trust your eyes rather than your brain" and "compare, compare, compare" is sound advice for painting glass.  Good strong darks and sparkling light are both key to setting off a glass object to it's fullest advantage.

The photo I've posted here is [detail from] my first attempt at glass and I really wish I'd read your advice first - it would have made life so much easier but, in any case, this is one of two paintings which are featured in the new Kennedy Publication's "The Best of Worldwide Watermedia Artists" so I guess I didn't make such a hash of it!

Comment by Richard Robinson on March 23, 2012 at 16:19

working on that Debbie. Will be more specific in the next workshop.

Comment by debbie piro on March 23, 2012 at 15:56

So Richard, how do you paint glass.

Comment by Dr. Roger E. Davis on March 21, 2012 at 7:01

I like the background in particular. It is dark enough to set off the glass and though muted the detail suggesting foliage adds needed interest. A swishy background of broad brush marks of varying tones and colors is a simple and quick solution, but  I find it tricky, not as simple as it appears.

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