I just began a new painting, and I thought I’d document the process, from conception to finished work.
I bought an old waxed cardboard portfolio at an antique market recently. I thought it might serve well as a background for a still life set-up, or as a base, or both. Here, I’ve placed it on a table, opened up, shone a spotlight on it, and gathered a few objects that might work with it.
The things I chose seem to be fighting each other for attention, so I selected some quieter, smaller ones. I wanted some more contrast in textures, so I decided to use a blue glass bowl and a rough rock. Also, I felt that the setup needed some detail, so I added the gold jewelry. I liked the way the jewelry was reflected in the blue bowl. I rearranged one of the straps of the portfolio to echo the curve of the shadow cast by the blue vase.
Here, I experimented with a tall vase to replace the small cup sitting on top of the crate, and then with a black cup. I thought that the black cup was more harmonious and didn’t detract from the jewelry and blue bowl, which I decided would be the focal point.
I’m pleased enough with the composition to proceed to do a detailed drawing.