Perfume Bottles and Chrysanthemums Demo

Armand Cabrera

I have almost wrapped up my still life paintings, only two more to go. Fall is shaping up here in Virginia and I am looking forward to getting outside and painting some landscapes.
Painting in the studio is not as challenging as painting outdoors; you have no lighting constraints on you and I have to keep myself from falling into bad habits of organization while painting.  When I started these I was sticking to the same procedures I used for outdoor work. I was developing the whole painting from big to small blocking the whole thing in quickly.
As I have become comfortable with my new routine indoors though,  I’ve noticed a little back sliding on my part and a slower pace to my work. As you can see with this painting I didn’t block everything in at the beginning but sort of bounced around. This will have to change as soon as I get back outside in a couple of days. Weather and the sun moving through the sky should set me back on track pretty fast.

Once I have my setup and theme for the painting I Draw it on my board with a big brush being careful to measure relative sizes for the elements of the image. I compare positive and negative spaces when drawing like this.

I establish the background color and then the blue vase. Once the vase is in  I go back and cool the background a little more. I block in the main masses for the flowers and start one of the bottles.

I get some shadows in for the bottles and vase and start with secondary shapes on all of the elements.

From here I spend most of my time refining the values and temperature changes for the smaller forms and reflective shapes.

I finish up by painting the table cloth and revisiting any edges and shapes that  seem out of place for the overall tone of the piece.

6 thoughts on “Perfume Bottles and Chrysanthemums Demo

  1. Always in awe of artists, especially those who've worked out repeatable systems for creating beauty.

    I'm trying for the same in my writing. Not formula, per se. But methodical, efficient storytelling.

    Happy Autumn!

    Jennifer (Mathews) Adolph

  2. I'm inspired.
    Wondering if you use bristles only? Or finish edges using sables near the end? I can't resist sables. Trying to though.

  3. If you set up a still life outdoors it helps create some of the same mind-set as painting a landscape, to me. The changing light and conditions help make it exciting to do; it's helped me, at least, maybe you would like it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.