Sunday, July 31, 2011

To Do List

The Late Night, 13"x9", oil on linen, 2011, ©Richard Luschek
I just finished this painting the other day and thought I would post some process shots. I am quite pleased with this painting. It has a very comfortable color harmony. I had an arched frame for this piece, though once again I did the painting out too close to the edge of the canvas, so the frame I had cut off some parts I was not happy with. I had to build a new frame for the painting. I will post the process of making the frame some time this week. 

The sketch:
I was up late drinking a lot of coffee. I like coffee, but this night it was to keep me fired up so I could get a pile of illustrations done on time. All my coffee cups were getting stacked up and I really like the rhythm they created. At first I thought the joy I felt from this visual phenomenon was mostly as a result of my caffeine overdose, but the next day after I got out of bed and returned to the desk I was still impressed with the arrangement. As I often do, I screamed out "I shall paint that!"
The next day in the studio I tried to recreate the scene. I enjoyed the curves and movement with all three stacked up, but was a bit much. I played around with a set up for a while till I got something I was happy with. I then did a color sketch on my Nintendo DS.

Day 1:
I am painting on oil primed linen glued to a birch panel. I set up the still life and was going to just dive in, but I got side tracked and had less than two hours to paint before I would loose my light. I decided to lay it in quickly using only burnt sienna. I don't usually do that, but I wanted to mass it in and I knew it would go faster in monochrome.
Day 2:
After it dried I made sure to go in on the second day and cover the canvas as best I could. I felt it was one of the better lay ins I had done- meaning, it had fairly accurate color and value notes and just enough drawing.

 Day 3:
A short day, just refining some of the forms and correcting the drawing.

 Day 4:
Bringing it into focus, I add details as needed. I had a group coming to the studio and I thought it would be fun to play a trick on one of my friends by adding an item to my "to do" list. I quickly painted "Kill Clem" on the painting. It was an hour into our sketch group before anyone noticed. I was thinking I should paint this message into all of my work.

 Day 5:
More finishing and refining. Of course I removed the "Kill Clem" joke and repainted the pad to get more of a light effect in the center of the picture. The coffee had evaporated and was covered in mold, so I cleaned the cup, added more coffee and repainted the cup on the right.

 Day 6- The Final Day:
I now decided I needed to finish the picture with some text. I made up a To Do list, wrote it on the pad in the still life and then did my best to copy it. I did not want the text to be readable, but to just appear as if it could be read. After this I realized the red vertical strip on the right was too dark and chromatic, so I lightened it a bit. Checking it for any other issues I realized the perspective on the cup was off. I repainted it again correcting the curves. A few tweaks and I had all I wanted. I then crossed this painting off my To Do list.

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