March 27, 2011

"Grapefruit on Glass" oil on canvas, 6X6"

I had a keen group of students to my studio week before last, and this is a demo painting from that workshop.  "Show us how to do reflections" they asked.  "Sure" said I, "No problem".  It turns out that it was a bit of a problem.  Judging the values took more effort than I had estimated, most especially in the reflection. I misjudged and then had to make changes accordingly.

I think that painting is like music, you do not have to be a musician in order to ascertain when someone misses a sharp or a flat, and nor do you have to be an artist to know that something is not "reading" in a painting.  The musician or the visual artist will,  however,  be the one able to retrace their steps and  make the needed correction.  It's not about never making mistakes, it's figuring out how to fix them that counts in the end.

Happy painting,


  1. Wonderful analogy, Gaye ... Sweet little painting, too!

  2. I agree. I think being able to make correctioins is so important.

  3. Reflections are the hardest thing for me. Our mind "thinks" the reflection is the same as the object but it's not. The first few times I tried to paint reflections they were total wipes. I finally decided I just had to keep working at it. I started painting the reflection first (so I wouldn't be distracted by the object) and kept telling myself "it's not a reflection it's just values, colors and shapes. Forget the object that's reflected and just paint" And I painted and repainted until I thought I had it right. Then I stepped back and realized "Yowee! it was a reflection." They are still hard, and I expect always will be.

  4. I'd go one step further and say that the only way to make progress is to make mistakes -- and then troubleshoot.