Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Study in Orange

If you asked me to pick my least favorite color, of the primary-secondary groups, I would probably chose orange. Well, the idea started with an old Cincinnati Bengals hat I found in a box of stuff I got from my parents house. I used to wear this hat when I was in grade school. So as this developed the orange spread. I did like that there was a system of various oranges working throughout the setup. I spent a lot of time designing the placement of the Doritos. More than a few got removed and eaten.

Since I have done more than a few Cincinnati Reds paintings, I thought a still life with themes of some fans enjoying a winter game would be a fun change. While neither I nor my family were huge sports fans, I do have some good memories of the family sitting around in the house during a wicked winter watching the Freezer Bowl, the 1981 AFC Championship Game between the San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals. One of the last really exciting seasons the Bengals have played in. I will probably call this painting The Freezer Bowl.

I wanted it to have a retro feel, so I collected items that pretty much fit that theme. Not sure how accurate all of the items are, but close enough for this painting. I thought a blue table cloth would be a good compliment to the all the oranges. The orange crush was found unopened in an antique store. The liquid had turned brown with floaters so I had to dump that out and add some new orange drink.

Set up with blank canvas.

My first day lay-in went pretty well.
Freezer Bowl, Day one lay-in.
After painting on this for a few days I decided that the background was a bit boring, so I added a screen next to the set up to cast a shadow. This helped in a few ways, but mainly it took emphasis off the football thus strengthening the center.
Freezer Bowl- about Day 4.
As I pushed towards the finish I realized the black of the hat was too strong so I forced it a bit lighter than it was in nature. It ended up making the hat look fuzzier. I softened a lot of the sharp edges and made sure the "visual punch" was in the center of the piece. I had hoped to finish the painting before the remaining Doritos got stale, but turns out that happens pretty quickly.
Freezer Bowl, 16 x 20, oil on linen, ©Richard Luschek 2014