Tonight I spent a lot of time setting up the flowers and orange still life and planning out a nice angular composition. The the rest of the session was about accurate drawing and simplicity of my brush strokes.
I feel as though if I’m given enough time I can render anything down into a good looking painting. But the real challenge is to produce the same outcome with what may look like a lot less effort. John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri and Rembrandt (his later works) are the artists I think about when I try to paint this way. They could indicate beautiful objects or people with the minimal amount of brushwork, making it look effortless.
Originally I was looking at the items I laid out here so the objects were more vertical. It wasn’t working so I just moved my chair a bit to the right and the angle from top left to bottom right brought in just enough action to make the still life interesting. I also really like how the green leaf is creating some sharp edges and high contrast for the eye to focus on the center then move out.
Here I used these two Photoshop filters not as a guide but more as a reminder that these objects can be rendered in very simple terms and still look authentic. I didn’t copy form these photos, copying would hurt my training. I need to be able to look at a subject and see something like a cutout filter in my head.