This step-by-step still life oil painting demonstration begins with a block-in of darks and lights to establish the value range. See more below:
Still Life Oil Painting Demonstration
by Michael Klein
I commence the block-in with a soft pencil (6B) on smooth watercolor paper taped to a drawing board. The paper I’m using is hot-pressed Fabriano Artistico. Then after the completion of the drawing, I seal the paper with a Poly Vinyl Acetate (PVA) size. This process makes a separation from the watercolor paper to prevent it from rotting.
I block in my darks and lights to establish a value range. This step is fairly easy when you have a block-in guiding where you’ll be placing the darks initially. If you do not do the first step, you will need to concentrate much harder during this stage because essentially you would be setting up all of your composition at the same time you construct the drawing.
I continue drawing with my brush using accurate color notes and paying attention to the sense of space between the back flowers and the foreground.
Starting to focus on atmosphere and how edges relate to one another. Keeping my colors subdued, I think about subtle things such as the way the underpainting will show through in parts creating a nice color harmony.
At this point, I’m slowing down trying to push the painting from the block-in, to some of what will remain the final layer.
I have worked two days and put in about 6 hours total so far. I work the different sides of the bouquet on separate days to allow for any changes the flowers will make.
Working on blocking in the transparent warm notes on the vase.
Continue to think about the quality of the glass and work on the character of the vase.
I have to consider the painting complete at this point, although they never are. I move on to the next project and think about what I could do to improve my process.
About Michael Klein
Michael started his training at ateliers in Minnesota where he was offered a rigorous academic program that adhered to the stringent French academic traditions. After finishing his studies in the Midwest, he sought out the renowned painter Jacob Collins. Through the influences of his peers, he has developed in a direction unique for his time. For more information, please visit: www.michaelkleinpaintings.com
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