I was attempting to create a feeling of homey warmth on a cold night in this painting and I hope I achieved it. I thought it might be helpful to those who sometimes write and ask me questions about how I go about a painting to document my process. I never start a painting exactly the same way twice, and my process changes depending on my thoughts and goals at the time. But I often do use transparent washes in the initial stage, so I thought this would be a good painting to use as an example.
1. I typically set up my still life with whatever I can find nearby and try to make it a pleasing combination of elements, but in this case I had some specific things in mind, like the wine and the candle. In not having the window that would form the background, I knew I'd need to improvise, so I constructed the night scene with substitutes using my shadow box, some two by fours and a blue bathmat. My biggest fear was that the mat would catch fire so I only lit the candle for short periods of time.
2.The sketch- next I did a quick sketch in a notebook to get comfortable with the drawing, adding some notes that were relevant.
3. Next I stained the support with magenta and then sketched in the composition loosely, using a green pastel pencil. I like to use pastel pencils rather than charcoal, because I find that charcoal can dirty the color when I lay in the paint on top.
4. The initial color block-in: Next I blocked in the elements thinly, using only transparent colors and no opaques. I was not worried at this stage about either color or value, but instead was just trying to cover the entire support with a nice soupy mixture of transparent colors.
Overall, I wasn't displeased with this one. I think I was able to capture the feeling of being in a warm home on a cold night. Thanks for checking in!