I went to the antique store to find some new things to paint! I decided to begin with the old oil jug.

I began with simply setting the jug on my table. My first thought was to add some contrasting textures and value contrast. The black cloth served both purposes. I tossed it onto the table, set the jug on it, and turned on the spotlight. It was a good start. I then added the silver bowl. I thought that it complimented the jug without competing with it. After looking at the set-up, I had the idea that I’d like to add something natural from my garden. I found a bunch of branches and twigs that my husband had collected for the fireplace. I found this twig covered in lichen. I loved its curving form and rough texture. I tried several placements, but liked this one, as the curve led the eye from the bowl up to the jug.

The composition was looking a bit monochromatic to me. I added the green stones to echo the green of the lichen. I liked it a lot more now. It seemed to have more life. I also adjusted the spotlight so that the cast shadow on the wall wasn’t just a vertical, but had an angle at the top. I think that this angle keeps the eye moving around the composition in a circle.

Above, as an experiment, I included more of the white cabinet at the bottom in the composition. I found it interesting, but thought that the diagonal white of the cabinet that showed between the two cast shadows on the right was distracting, didn’t echo any other lines, and took attention away from the jug. I liked the composition better without it. I’ll let this sit for a few days, then come back to it to see if I still like it.