Friday, April 8, 2016

Making a Painting With Heart

Planning a painting with "Heart"

I have been thinking about painting oysters for ages; the shells have such interesting texture, the insides are translucent; the "mother of pearl" shimmer - a very intriguing combination.

I also wanted to use this plate. It was a wedding gift for my parents, and my mother always used it for the birthday cakes for my four brothers and me.

And to top it off, our friend is raising oysters just down the road from our house! He not only gave me the oysters, but came down and opened them for me, which was no easy task. So, all the ingredients are in place for a very exciting project!

My reference
First Decision: The Paper

I choose my paper depending on the subject. I knew that hot press paper would be my choice for this painting because the smooth surface would make it very easy for the different pigments to mingle on the surface, and also create texture.
Where to start? With the oysters? I decided to begin with the plate. Sometimes I like to do all of the background first; in this case, the plate was not the background of the painting, but it served as the background for the oysters.
I lightly sketched the oyster shapes, the fork, the inside rim of the plate, and the light struck shapes on the rim. This was all the drawing that was done for this composition.
Completing the plate
I wanted to include this photo so that you can see how the pigments mingle on the paper. 
Moving On to the Stars of the Paintings
I am using a combination of transparent and iridescent pigments.

I like the way the iridescent pigments  help create the texture of the interior. Just a bit of shimmer!
Each Oyster is a Small Portrait
It was really enjoyable to work on this painting. Each oyster is different, not only in subtle color changes, but also in the inner shapes. I made a conscious effort to vary the colors so that each oyster would have its own personality. 
Oysters on My Mum's Plate