Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm planning to copy a portion of this Melendez painting. The highlighted section is a full page in my Melendez book. I'll be building a transfer to lay out the larger shapes. But first, I thought I'd make a few preparations.

Rather than use my existing oil paints, I wanted to try my hand at my own. Here is an English Burnt Sienna. It's a lovely rich red that I've enjoyed using with egg tempera. I've mulled enough to fill a 20 ml tube. Note the dramatic color change with oil mixed in.

During cleanup, I used the leftovers to lay down an initial layer. I've read that in this painting that Melendez put down two layers of red so perhaps I'm getting a good start. I guess it's quite common with oil painting to begin with a base layer or a grisaille rather than a blaring white surface. You can see here how I use one panel for two paintings. (The tomatoes and melon paintings are on my other panel.) This picture doesn't do the sienna layer justice. It's really so luscious that it looks good enough to eat.

Here's Bohemian Green Earth mulled and in the process of being tubed. I want a warmer green that the  Nicosia Green Earth. This pigment is a very fine grind and requires a lot of mulling.

I also want a warmer yellow and this Gold Ochre looks good.

These three paints just seem to feel right together and will, along with Flake White, probably form my palette.

Tomorrow I will transfer the image and rough in the shapes.

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