Friday, January 29, 2010

"The Shadow Nose"

Connie Kleinjans, The Shadow Nose, 6x6 oil on canvas
6x6x0.75", oil on stretched canvas

This was the first painting I did in my series of five still lifes in five days (or so). I've had some good luck with onions in the past, although I don't know why. Maybe it's the textures and the stem.

One thing I was trying to do in this series was to go more neutral in the backgrounds and also to do good solid darks. I tend to brighten up my colors, and then the painting can either lack depth, or you don't really highlight the main item. Of course, after I finished this, I noticed that I had put a focal point -- the tan part of the stem -- almost dead center in the image, which does not make for good composition. In this case I might have skirted the problem through smoke and mirrors: the onion is way off-center, and the shadow of the stem forms another focal point that's more compelling. I also noticed that the brush marks radiate away from the shadow, which is very dynamic (I should remember that as another way to direct the eye). I think that extra dynamism like that can work in small paintings, since they need to have more punch in order to be seen. But in larger paintings it's worth looking at resting places for the eye.

The title was for the crack-up value. (Hey, try hovering your cursor over the picture.) (Applies to most of my paintings.)

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