Did this apple as a demo in one of my oil painting classes today. The simple round form of apples and pears are the best examples of how objects turn from light to dark. Showing that dramatically helps make things look dimensional and not flat on a canvas. A lot of people want to start with faces which have dozens of forms on them, starting there often made me discouraged and want to give up. But once I mastered simple forms moving on to faces was less overwhelming. After really focusing on these apples for two sittings of three hours and learning beginning color mixing students begin to understand why I want to wait a bit. This was the under painting after about ten minutes.
I don’t know how I managed without an easel but I didn’t end up with any paint on my arm reaching over my palette like that. Usually I’d be covered – probably because I was only sitting for a minute, some of the time I was standing because I found it difficult to reach over the palette (yeah, duh). I just kind of go into a trance and I don’t notice things. I’ll bring my portable easel when I demo in the future. They had tabletop easels, I just didn’t even grab one I just started painting without thinking.
A lot of my beginning students prefer to paint flat and at first I find them clipping their reference in front of them on the easel while their palette and canvas is flat in front of them. I’m totally fine with that. These are beginners and I’m throwing some pretty advanced color mixing at them, nagging them about their value range accuracy and pushing them to use larger brushes than they’re comfortable with. I can let them slide on some little comforts for a while that don’t seem early on to be hurting the bigger picture – not yet anyway, at some point that flat painting will effect their brush strokes and as some of them already have moved up onto the easel, they’ll want their canvases up off the table too.
Sometimes… I will make things so difficult for myself and I don’t know why I do that, absent mindedness probably, my mind is already in the painting I’m sure. I have to try to stay in the moment as they say. I didn’t even think about it while I was painting but I just worked like that the whole time today. I’m only thinking about it now as I look at this photo, “Oh right, I’m supposed to be more mindful… right, gotta do that.” Pick up eggs, get gas, be more mindful. Oh yeah, that’s totally working. I feel more mindful already.