I have a number of paintings in progress in the studio, and as if I needed to add to my work load I decided that another painting for the new year would be a nice idea. This current piece I'm working on is slightly different for me. The format is more horizontal and the size is bigger than the usual 9 x12. The process is also a little different, I usually begin with a quick painted sketch using burnt sienna and burnt umber. This sketch tends to be loose, almost no hints of lights or darks, just quick simple lines implying the shape, mass and composition of the different elements in the painting. With this new still life I decided to do a more detailed grisaille using raw umber and white, something that would help me establish lights and darks from the start. The last time I tried this process was about a year ago, and the underpainting was not as developed as this current painting. I found out then that this process helped stay focused, and it seems like it helped me to create a stronger painting.
I have started adding color by applying some glazes and some direct painting. The most difficult part is getting the right color for the background, this always tends to be my downfall. I'm not sure if I'll keep it light blue, knowing me it'll change to a pale grey or white. So far things are going in the right direction, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for smooth sailing. More to come.