Thursday, February 5, 2015

Setup and Work in Progress pics for 30 in 30 challenge

This time around for 30 in 30 challenge, I did the painting the night before for the following day. It gave me a feeling that I am ahead of the game and I posted the painting on my blog around midnight! I had planned for the set up early enough in December and that way my stage was ready for the performance by fruits and vegetables. The set up was rather crude, but worked really well. I took a cardboard box and cut out couple of circles for the light to show. See it below, the cutout for light is on left side top. There was another cut out on right side that I used to secure the inside fabric. See how I have arranged the background fabric. Sometimes I used different colored fabrics, in that case I simply placed the second colored fabric at the bottom surface and then placed my subject on top.
This is the simplest setup anyone can do at home. For the light, I used the clamp light from Home Depot, that way if I needed the light from front, then I clipped it onto my easel (which was in front). In all of my paintings except a couple, I used the light source on the top left as shown in above picture. So I got a lot of practice of painting backlit objects. Next time around though, I am going to construct my stage using the pipes from home depot, which will be sturdy.
However, you might think looking at the setup - this is not exciting at all!! How the heck this could have turned into a beautiful painting and how any artist can get inspired by such a thing..!!!??? Let me reveal the secret....
See first 2 pictures below: Shadowbox Setup (more zoomed in than the earlier one) and Setup Closeup (further zoomed into looking just at the fruits). Another thing I must add here - this is cell phone picture - so not great quality, but its handy to get the idea. Believe me - the fruits and vegetables look gorgeous with reflections of fabric on it and the shadow of fruits reflecting the orange color in this case. So once I focus my attention to the layout of fruit and veges, I sketched it on 6 x 6 canvas board. The Stage 1 as I am showing in collage are the first color notes - where I note the light and dark colors - irrespective of the actual color of the object. My next layer is Stage 2, where I painted actual color of the objects - orange for the objects here and blue-green for the background ...etc. Stage 2 is really the most important stage in the painting, this determines if a painting is going to be successful or not. Further Stage 3 is developing more color variations lighter / darker etc within the area painted in Stage 2. Stage 4 is the final painting with highlights - lightest light and darkest area etc.. At this point, the objects have come alive on the canvas and it is the most fulfilling aspect of painting for me.


  1. I love that you showed how you set up your background, fabric and lighting for those wonderful paintings. Thanks for sharing the information!


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