Mortar & Pestle in Marble
oil on 1/4" wood panel
Every serious cook needs a mortar and pestle in his or her kitchen! This one, made of white/gray marble, doesn't get as much use lately as it did in the past, but I will never part with it. I will say that it was a challenge to paint, but it was a great exercise in doing ellipses - something I haven't painted or drawn in ages. And, of course, being able to really observe the true values and subtle colors and reflected light that photos seldom capture accurately.
Another limited palette here - burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and white, with a touch of yellow ochre. I constructed a 3x3" viewfinder out of a piece of foamboard to assist with composition, and actually taped it to my small tabletop easel. Worked great.
I tried to keep the strokes on this loose, but I keep having issues with my paint getting tacky during the painting process. I've been using M. Graham walnut oil as a medium, and am wondering if that is the problem - it is fine immediately after mixing with the walnut oil, but then gets sticky and doesn't spread well after about 5 min. Exasperating, to say the least.
One thing I did discover that was the best way to clean my brushes is simply on a bar of Ivory soap after wiping as much paint off as possible. I have tried removing paint with unrefined linseed oil, followed by washing with dish soap, but that often left the bristles stiff after they dried, indicating I didn't remove all of the oil or paint. I do have Turpenoid, but I'd prefer not to use it if I don't have to, and it seems to drive paint up into the ferrule, which I have always had a problem getting out.