Counter life 3

This morning my son asked, “Why do you keep drawing the same thing?”, to which I had no immediate answer. But then I thought about it for awhile. Besides trying to work in a series, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, and trying to learn something new every day, which I also mentioned, I realized that the best answer to his question is that having a drawing routine definitely helps to add structure to these days at home.

The idea for today’s version of my countertop still life came to me when I saw that the white tulips were just starting to open. I wanted to created a focus on the blooms so I did a monochrome experiment with ink. First I tried diluted India Ink but the old bottle I have is full of sediment, so I switched to black acrylic ink. Using that was a first for me, and I have no idea what you can do with it, but I poured out a few drops on a plate and mixed in some water. The first wash I put down was a pale grey tone over everything except the tulips. From there I built up the layers of ink and did a lot of negative painting. I guess my experiment with casein will be for tomorrow.

17 Comments on “Counter life 3”

  1. Chris Rusk says:

    Really nice. Your countertop reflections are so beautiful.


  2. Pastor Cathy says:

    Counter life 3
    The Sketchbook


  3. Shari, I love this, and I especially love how you started in the middle (of values) and carved your shapes with successive layers of darker shades. It’s beautiful!

    We paint the same scene over and over for all the reasons you mentioned – and because we like to practice. Why does one throw the same basketball at the same hoop over and over? 🤔


  4. Judy Sopher says:

    Love the various shades of ink. I think this may be harder to paint than color. Anxious to hear your comments on casein. I tried it long time ago and could not tolerate the smell. Like old fashioned white shoe polish??


  5. joantav says:

    Nice monochromatic look to this! I like seeing what you do next in the series.


  6. Demetrio says:

    The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90. “Because I think I’m making progress,” he replied.


  7. Tina Koyama says:

    You have such a strong command of values that this sketch “reads” as a very complete picture! As for working in series and the need for routine, I am on Day 45 of drawing my hand since the stay-at-home started, so I know exactly what you mean! It gives me structure in a world that has none anymore.


  8. Wendy Cutting says:

    Sending a message to thank you for the interesting/ fun online course.
    I enjoyed all of it – the part I now use a lot in my own work is the chart of all the greens.
    As a suggestion, it would be helpful to put that 3 mix green, cobalt, turquoise and ochre onto the chart. It is great for all the alliums, artichokes, silvery blue leaves
    Stay well and safe xxx


  9. Of your countertop series, Shari, I think this one has the strongest MOOD – mysterious, compelling and LOVELY! It’s an elusive aspect – isn’t it? – the MOOD of a picture? I never know if I’ve created a strong mood until after the painting is finished, and then I couldn’t tell you how I did it! Do you experience that? Of course MOOD is subjective, too, and what has a strong mood for me may not for someone else… Enjoying your posts! -Barry


    • HI Barry. Yes, mood is something that is so difficult to create. I don’t think I ever manage to achieve it (I still too closely to what I see) but I did feel like something was starting to happen when I was putting some of the washes on this one. That’s the aspect of this exercise that I’m really enjoying. I’m thinking that maybe one day when I go outside (who knows when that will be!) I will remember what I did with these washes and use this same technique. A few years ago I painted in downtown Montreal with the wonderful James Gurney. We stood side-by-side in Chinatown, during daylight, and as I watched, he created a night scene. It was brilliant, and it was full of mystery. But he is a genius with light and colour. I thought to myself — I would never be able to do what he just did. But by watching some of his videos I can at least understand how he does it, even if I can’t replicate it. Thanks so much for writing and for getting me to think about this a little more. Shari


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