Friday, May 17, 2013

Oil Painting of Tin and Pewter

"On the Edge", Oil on Board, 9" x 12"

Not having a clue what I wanted to paint the other day, but knowing I needed to paint, I grabbed these items off the shelf and plopped them down on my still life shadow box. Sometimes when I'm in that place between inspiration and the need to just push some paint around, I'll try to make the most of my time by giving myself just an exercise to do. Something with a goal in mind that will focus my attention and give me a lesson at the same time. 

I knew I wanted to do something that wasn't high contrast but that was in cool light and would challenge me with subtle temperature shifts. The background of my wood shadow box is painted a kind of Naples Yellow Light and generally I drape fabric or colored paper over it. But this time I decided to try something with just the creamy yellow background. Yellow can be a challenge when it becomes shadow because it can go in a couple of different directions -  from orangy to brown and often green. Finding the right relationships can be a challenge so I was pleased when this worked out. Pulling the yellow into the pewter and tin pieces brought the painting together. This is easy when there are reflective objects present as they'll do this anyway. I liked the negative space formed by the balanced tin cup and the lost edges too.  How do you like the brushed surface of the pitcher?


Elsbeth McLeod said...

I am thrilled with the pewter-ness and the tin-ness of the metal! The warmth you've made of the cold metal certainly casts a pleasing mood for me, Susan. Yes, sometimes just giving yourself an exercise produces some really phenomenal work, doesn't it?

Susan Martin Spar said...

It sure does. I've always enjoyed painting metal. I usually let things get a bit tarnished too because it adds interest and depth. Anyway that's my excuse for not dragging out tha polish. ;-)