I put together this set-up back in July, while I was waiting for the canvas for my recent painting to arrive from the stretchers. The canvas arrived soon after, and I set to work on the other painting. Now, after 7 months of working on that painting, I’m ready to begin on this one. When I first looked at the set-up again, I wasn’t sure if I still wanted to paint it. Lately, my work has taken a turn towards the more colorful and less traditional, and this one didn’t seem to fit. I decided that I do still like it but think that I’ll try to complete it a bit quicker than usual. There are no time-consuming textures to paint (like bird’s nests or woven baskets!), so I think I can do it.

My next step was to do a drawing. It was surprisingly hard to draw the curving shapes of the branch and the folds of the cloth. I kept measuring and checking locations with my view-finder and knitting needles. (For more details see Drawing ‘Noguchi Lamp and Scarf’.) noticed that I was unhappy with the shape of the cloth that flows between the jug and the dish of stones. Rather than mess with the cloth, I just experimented with drawing it differently. I liked this version more. Design always out-trumps slavish adherence to what’s in front of me! You can see the modified line of the top edge of the cloth in the drawing below.

The handle of the oil jug was especially hard to see properly and draw. You can see all of my erasures below.

Before completing the drawing, I did a black-and-white oil study on tracing paper to check the composition. I simply taped some tracing paper right on top of my drawing so that I could see all of my lines, and quickly painted in shades of gray.

I can see some drawing errors now, especially in the jug. I’ll correct these on the drawing, and then proceed to transfer the drawing to my canvas.