Still Life with Conch: sketch and underpainting

A few weeks ago, I started my second oil painting with a still life of objects gathered from my house. Each object brings different textures, shapes, and subtle colors that are challenging to paint. As I go along, I sometimes question why I set up such a complicated still life, but that seems to be the best way to learn. If I just repeated what I already know how to do, I would be stuck. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

Still Life with Conch, photograph of the setup

The orange has provided unique difficulties, mostly associated with the fact that real fruit (or flowers) rot over time so I have to either recreate the peeled orange repeatedly or work from a photograph for that piece of the still life. I might write a separate post about the “Orange Problem.”

Still Life with Conch, charcoal drawing on canvas

The drawing went well and the first daubs of color were mostly okay. The trick is to not “lose the drawing” as the paint goes on top of the drawing. So far the problems are, or will be: the orange, losing the drawing, and later, I’m sure, the reflections from the silver and who knows what else at this point? What sadist set up this still life? Right. Me.

Still Life with Conch, underpainting

2 thoughts on “Still Life with Conch: sketch and underpainting

  1. You show courage doing pine cone, too! A sampler of challenges to overcome and skills to develop and reveal. I want to see all the stages and read about your progress!


    • Thanks, Anne. The pine cone is ok so far. I’m very much at the ‘don’t mess it up stage.’ My classmates and I are very wary of that part of the process, but our teacher cheers us on.


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