Apple Study in Oil

Apple Study in Oil (Paul Foxton Livestream)

Apples today with Paul Foxton. A lot of detailed mixing but the whole thing only came alive when the detail spots and the highlight went in. Could do a lot more on this. I only started to see a lot of the detail towards the end when I was really looking at it. But fun thought.

Blue Diamond Rose Oil Painting

Blue diamond rose oil painting
Blue Diamond Rose (from a Paul Foxton reference). Michele Clamp. Oil on panel board. 8″x10″

A blue diamond rose oil painting is on the easel today. I’m gearing up for another Paul Foxton workshop and we had a free livestream paintalong today. Really pleased with this one and I’m loathe to touch it any more even though I can see areas where it needs it.

Canvas panels are great for studies

The painting is on a cheap 8×10 canvas panel. I doubt these have great longevity as they’re made of cardboard but they’re good for studies. We mixed up light and dark values for both of the roses, the background, the vase and the leaves. This took a while. It was probably 90 minutes of just mixing but it’s worth it.

The problem with mixing is actually a problem with seeing

The problem of mixing can be split into two parts. The first part (and the hardest) is identifying exactly which color you need to mix. We are constantly fooled by our eyes when looking at subjects. If a subject is in strong light or strong shadow our brain compensates and makes it hard for use to know exactly what the color is. For instance, the white rose on the right definitely reads as white. Even in the shadow area at the top it still looks white. But if we isolate that color we see that it’s actaully a value 5. And 5 is exactly half way down the value scale. It’s so easy to overstate the values in these regions and make them much lighter than they appear. And then the painting doesn’t work.

Once we’ve identified the color correctly mixing it is relatively straightforward. If we know the color we know the hue (orange, red, blue etc), the value (dark to light on a 1-10 scale), and the chroma (how bright or gray the color is).

Putting the paint on the canvas

When we finally got to putting the paint on the canvas it all went pretty quickly. We had already mixed the main colors. We then blocked in the areas and blended between them to get smooth transitions where needed. The petals were trickier. We had to mix between the main values to get the more subtle value shifts. We also needed deft brushwork to get the petals to read well.

But on the whole this was a great success. I could clean my brushes happy after a good day’s painting.

Here it is alongside the reference.

Blue diamond rose oil painting and reference
Blue diamond rose oil painting and reference

Summer Roses – Final Session

Summer Roses Final Session. Michele Clamp. Oil on Panel. 16″x20″

The final (ish) session on the summer roses with Paul Foxton. Hard to say how I feel about this right now. There are a few things I’d like to work on still but it’s very close to being done. Highly recommend Paul’s workshops. I learn a lot, the people are great and it’s enormous fun.

Summer Roses – Working up the Color Study

Color study take 2. Michele Clamp. Oil on paper. 8″x10″

Inspired by Marilyn on the Summer Roses group I decided to work up the color study a little. This gives me a little practice in readiness for the bigger version on Monday. Although softening the edges was tricky I think I’m fully prepared to dive into the real thing.

Here it is before I worked on it

Color study for Summer Roses first pass.

Egg Painting

Egg painting with Paul Foxton. Michele Clamp. Oil on paper. 5″x8″

I tinkered with a couple of rose paintings today and had a bit of time left so why not paint along with The Foxton and paint an egg. Mainly an exercise in mixing and blending but quite satisfying.

Apparently I was gone for a long time as James came up to find me and was very amused that all I was painting was an egg.

Me painting an egg.