Still.Life.Jan+Feb: When you paint nothing at all

29 Feb

It worries me.

I look back on my records of activity for the past two months and come up feeling rather lacking in stuff for my regular online “show and tell”.

But I guess the point is not about being “productive” and churning out work after work but rather… a continuous effort, even if it is tangential to my supposed overall commitment to this thing called Art-making. In any case, there was still SOME activity. I am a bit embarrassed to share such sub-standard work.. but ah well… in the spirit of LEARNING!


With the many public holidays in January, I ended up only attending ONE Still Life session in January. It wasn’t a particularly satisfying day on the canvas and I think it shows in my work. I could barely bring myself to work on the orchids!

Jan 15: Orchids and Mangosteens

I, however, liked how the background colours looked a little dreamy.


Feb 19: Flower Study

I didn’t really feel like attempting the Still Life arranged for the day’s session. But I figured I must at least do something, since I have not been actively painting for the past weeks. (I did do some sketches, but it was mainly copying images and photographs…) So I decided I will do a pencil sketch study of the flowers in the arrangement.

I picked a suitable spot and got started…

Having picked the flower of my liking, I observed the flower closely… employing my own flower observation technique and started to sketch.

I thought I did a pretty decent job with the general shaping of the petals but was rather stumped on how to do the shading. My lack of skill in this, rather elementary area, is probably why I find myself similarly stumped in creating the “3D-ness” with my oils. I have yet to achieve the range of depth in contrast, often playing safe and staying in the middle values. This of course, results in flat paintings and in the case of pencil sketches… a rather 2D flat-ish sketch.

I asked Teacher how I can improve and he sat down for a quick demo.

He sketched out the round-ish shape of the entire flower first, indicating with a light arc where the petals would be on the near side.

He then studied the shape of the petals, marking out the tips on the round circle he drew, and also marked out the flower centre. Slowly, he added the details, petal by petal.  Once the flower takes shape, he shades roughly over the entire drawing area, following the overall lights/shadows as could be observed.  And finally, he adds in dark dots…

Could you even visualise that??? Haha… I truly wished I had recorded the process! Anyway, this was the final product.

Nice isn’t it?

Other stuff… Nothing to do with Still Life? Au contraire!

A highlight in January was a visit to the Musee D’ Orsay Dreams & Reality Exhibition over at the National Museum of Singapore one fine Sunday.  Led by a fellow Art Group member who volunteers as a docent, a small group of us trooped down to the exhibition to observe the master impressionists to see if …er… they left an impression? (Ok, corny)

It is such an eye-opening experience to see the works of Masters like Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Toulouse-Latrec up close. Click here to see my snapshots of the exhibitions, i.e. what caught my camera’s eye.

Dreams & Reality with friends!

I was also SUPER impressed with the patience of artists who did Pointillism! RESPECT!

I have my favourites… what are yours?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: