Monday, May 9, 2011

Paint your fruit and vegetables - still life paintings in oil, 6x6

Salsa Lessons #2
 oil on 1/4" wood panel

Everyone remembers the reminders from mom to "eat your vegetables", and "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", right?  Maybe the same applies to painters:  painting vegetables is good for you, for challenging one's observational skills, color mixing abilities and compositional eye.

This weeks' DailyPaintwork Challenge is "Paint Your Vegetable", hosted by Diane Mannion (see a link to her blog in my blogroll list).  

This painting was probably harder than any landscape I've ever done, which probably sounds absurd, but it's true.  The fact it is difficult means it is pushing me outside of my comfort zone, which is a good thing.  I have been humbled by vegetables - the onion in particular.  

And, since the vegetables weren't enough of a beat-down, I followed up with dessert:

Cantaloupe Cross-section
6x6 inch
oil on 1/4" wood panel

I love the patterns formed by cut sections of fruit and vegetables, and this cantaloupe was sitting in the refrigerator, beckoning.  The fruit itself was easy to paint; it was the cast shadow and reflections on the wooden box that were a bear.  I'm not very happy with them, but this was literally as good as I could get them.  

One of the frustrating parts of the whole "learning curve" process is when your finished result falls short of your expectations and your abilities.  But, it's the reason we all keep plugging away.  

Palette used here:  alizarin crimson, brownish madder, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red medium, cadmium red dark, yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, sap green and a new Grumbacher "soft white", which is a mix of titanium and zinc whites.  


  1. I too discovered that painting onions is really hard.
    I like how you stood the jalapen~os on end like that.

  2. Mmmm! Tasty paintings! It's the "simple" things that kick our behinds most often, isn't it? Big, round shapes with subtlety everywhere... it's enough to drive you bonkers. Well done!

  3. Jala - I knew they would be hard to paint, and I was right! The jalapeno on the right did not want to stay put, but they are more interesting standing up, I thought.

    Sherrie - thanks! Yes, indeed - what seems simple at face value often proves to be anything but. I'm glad that the items at least look tasty - success on some level :).

  4. Your paintings came out great! Love the shadows.

    I can't wait to try this challenge - I love to paint fruits & vegetables. However, I fear the onion. You were brave - and did a great job!

    I think a trip to the grocery store is in order....

  5. Thanks, Debbie! I can't look at the shadows on these paintings objectively, but I'm glad you like them. Maybe the aren't so bad as I think.

    It's clear from your paintings you enjoy painting fruits & vegetables - they always look great. I agree about the onion, but you should give it a try anyway. I'm sure you'll do a fine job on that as well :).


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