still life : color layer days 1 & 2..finally!!!!!

After a several week break - waiting for the dead layer to dry completely, then caught up at work & home with obligations..finally getting back to my painting:)  

I started the color layer last night and went back in tonight to continue working on the pearls and ribbon.  I'm undecided about what to do with the table color..thinking I may leave it neutral grays..any thoughts are most welcome!

this is the third pass at the dead layer - one more to go in order to establish detail in the shell - this round focused primarily on the pearls and the basic lights and darks of the shell - need to go back in for the little nuances.

I started painting the dead layer (gray layer) and have the background and ribbon blocked step will be to paint the rest - shell, table & hanging ribbon is approximately 5 values of gray

tonight I painted the umber layer using burnt umber oil paint and a medium of OMS, damar varnish, linsedd oil & a drop of lavender oil.  I wiped out the highlighted areas but will need to pay careful attention to the pearls since I was unable to get the lightest lights on the front row as white as I wanted. I hope I can make the ribbon transparent in the background!

I'm working out a set up for a still life I'd like to paint and have three possibilities:

and finally


After several days of working on setting up the still life, I settled on composition #2 that has the ribbon dancing around the shell in a circular fashion, similar to that of the conch shell's concentric circular pattern. (thanks Michael S)

I transferred the drawing onto a primed 8x10 ampersand smooth gesso board and reinforced the drawing with waterproof ink.  I held the support at eye level with two screws

I've printed a photo of the still life in grayscale to assist with the dead layer, and in full color for later layers. i'm planning to paint this in the indirect method of the old next step will be to establish values and the basis of form, first in an umber layer, then in a dead layer (using black to white value scale)

The set up remains in the light box to the left of my easel and I have used a color checker to assist in determining that the studio light matches the light on the setup. From fiddling with the setup, the ribbon has shifted a bit, so I will use the pattern in the photo, still observing the ribbons play of light and shadow in the light box.

Stay tuned for step 2 & please comment if you care to!

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Comment by Lori Ippolito on November 26, 2014 at 3:05
Your most welcome Steinunn and thank you for your interest!
Comment by Steinunn Einarsdottir on November 25, 2014 at 23:41

Hi Lori, thank you so much for this explanations on your beautiful work, you must be a very patient person and I don't think you could have done it any better.  I like the idea using the lavender oil, I always use it when I go to bed so it has a lot of uses!

Congratulations again Lori.:)

Comment by Lori Ippolito on November 25, 2014 at 15:24
BTW..I see that I didn't make an I portent note on my blog..after doing the umber layer, I realized I hadn't left the pearls 'white' enough, so I got a Qtip and dipped it in OMS..wiped out the lightest areas..still not down to the white of the support, but light enough to achieve a luminescent quality in the later layers:)
Comment by Lori Ippolito on November 25, 2014 at 15:21
Thanks Steinunn...I painted this on ampersand gesso board..8x10.. I used a drop of lavender oil to make a more pleasant odor..not sure if it helps drying time at all. To be honest I lost track of the time I spent on this,,I start out keeping note but in the end I wind up so involved in the painting that I forget to make note of the time! I began working on setting up the still life on September 25 and finished the painting on November 12 or 16th. I had to wait for the painting to dry between layers which caused the delay. The first few layers dry pretty quickly because of the burnt umber..the color layers take longer, but you don't want the colors to mix on the canvas..the idea is for the transparent layers to optically mix..also try not to get opaque colors except for at the end, avoid it getting milky looking. I've found that every painting I've done in this manner has turned out to my liking. It's a process that seems to suit me. On the other hand, I have a really tough time trying to paint alla prima..I get a lot of mud!! I'm trying to get better at it through taking the workshops here, but so far am not having much success!! Thanks very much for your interest and for taking the time to look in on my work:)
Comment by Steinunn Einarsdottir on November 25, 2014 at 5:02

This is very well done Lori, a beautiful work in deed.:)  How many hours did you spend on it and why the drop of Lavender oil and did you use a fine canvas?

Comment by Lori Ippolito on November 24, 2014 at 8:02
How nice of you to say Jim!! I learned a lot with this. Would love to see you paint a still! How saw your reference to Vladmir volegov on your main page and have been drooling!! I'm planning to try a painting after his style.... Or brush up on my golf game!! Lol
Comment by Jim Haycock on November 24, 2014 at 4:04

This is an OUTSTANDING blog!!!  It's a great lesson for everyone! Now, I want to try doing a still, myself.

Comment by Lori Ippolito on November 19, 2014 at 17:40

thanks very much Ann!  My dedication to detail is both a blessing and a curse!! this is one of the main reasons I struggle so much with many of the workshop assignments! 

Comment by Ann Turner on November 19, 2014 at 6:49

Very interesting project Lori. Thank you for sharing. You have an amazing dedication to detail. The painting is glowing with light.

Comment by Lori Ippolito on November 16, 2014 at 18:07

thanks Stu! I was able to get outside and take a new photo today with better light and luckily it was straight!  I will keep the transform tool in mind:)  Posted in the gallery.


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