This still life is the 19th exercise (and ninth painting) in Block 2 of Evolve Artist. I took a while to get around to starting it, since I couldn’t decide on what to include.
I was also putting if off because I just felt kind of bored, and needed a few days break. I was at a point in this Block where I just wanted to be done, and move on to colour! Because the paintings are getting harder, they’re taking longer. And I’m a slow painter anyway, so I was feeling like the whole thing was dragging. But as usual when I feel that way, my enthusiasm came back after a short break.
I’ve had to change my expectations to adjust to the increasing demands of the course. I was aiming to finish at least one exercise a week, but now that feels too pressured. Compared to the early exercises it just takes longer to complete the more complex drawings now, and I prefer to split the drawing sessions over a couple of days – one for the rough sketch and figuring out the proportions, and another to do the finished version on canvas. An object with more detail obviously takes longer to paint than a simple one too, and more objects in a painting means more sessions. So I’m not usually completing a painting a week anymore, but it’s more important to keep enjoying the course than to finish as quickly as I can (even though I really want to finish and focus on my own art!). I know some Evolve students work on these paintings all day every day, but I’d find that too tiring even if I had the time.
Anyway, I went with more vegetables for this exercise. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve bought quite a few artificial fruits and veg, and they’re great subjects for still lifes. Here’s how they looked in the still life box (the photo is taken from a different angle than where I was painting from):
I upped the difficulty by using more objects, and including the beans and mushroom which have more complex shapes. I think the mushroom was maybe a bad choice, since I couldn’t really show much of the detail on the surface within the value constraints we have at this stage (only four values allowed – two lights and two shadows). Other than that, I think it came out okay, although I did draw the objects a bit too small and I should have placed them a bit more to the left. I thought about rubbing it out and redrawing, but couldn’t really face it, especially as it would only have been a little bit bigger. If I was doing this as a real painting, I’d have made it a larger size than 8 x 10 too.
So I only have one more to go for Block 2, then I can finally start on colour – exciting!
See all my Evolve artist paintings.