The One That Got Away
Recently my in-laws came by for a visit. They have an old hickory tree that's falling down and have cut it up to use for barbecue wood. I've wanted to try some of this out next time we cook, so we asked them to bring us some. They brought a pretty good sized batch of wood and I was anxious to look through it and see what we got. While checking it out, I ran across one piece that really caught my eye. I knew I wanted to use it in a still life, but what would I use with it? Well, my fishing lures of course! When I'm setting up a still life scene like this I always think about what it must look like at the bottom of the lake. How many fisherman have lost their hooks, bait and lures to mysterious objects under the water's surface? I know I've lost my share of tackle, never to know what grabbed on to it.
This is what I'm painting today. You might notice that this set up isn't exactly like what I painted. When I was just about done with the painting my wife came into the studio and accidentally bumped my still life box, causing the lure in the front to fall down along with the branch it's on. While trying to set it back up, I knocked the tin down. Luckily, I was just about done painting when all of this happened. I had everything more or less painted, so I got the set up back as close as I could and continued to paint.
Here's my rough block in. The paint is pretty thin at this stage, and, with a paper towel, I can wipe out where some of the lures are going to go. If the paint doesn't lift off well or if it doesn't get light enough, I can dip the paper towel into a little turpentine and then wipe out the shapes I want. Even if the wash dries, a moist paper towel will wipe it off. This is very useful, since these thin washes will dry in just a few minutes.
Once I'm happy with my block in, I can start to build up my paint. A good block in is like a map I can follow while painting. I don't have to worry about where things will go or if there's enough room for everything. Those questions have already been answered for me. Now I can concentrate on other things, like the drawing, colors and edges in my painting. Here I started with the yellow and green lure. To clean up the drawing of the lure, I need to paint the tin and one of the rocks. Before I know it, I have almost half the painting roughed in with more exact color and drawing.
At this point in my painting, I'm just trying to get the rest of the it roughed in with better color and more accurate drawing. I'm still using a pretty large brush and trying to avoid any details. I'll paint around the lure (lazy ike for you fishermen out there) on the log. It's easier than trying to cover the log color with yellow paint. The only way I know of to keep the yellow of the lure clean is either to paint around it or to paint the lure with very thick paint. I prefer the first choice, since it leaves the door open for the second choice as well. For the other little lure toward the top of the tin, I chose not to paint around it. I'll scrape some of this paint off when it comes time to paint that lure.
Just about done now. I have everything to a pretty good stage and I can now start putting in some details, like the hooks and some of the details on the tin. I'll go over everything at this stage to make sure I'm happy with the way it looks. You might notice I didn't paint the background like it is in the photograph. That was on purpose. I wanted the background to be mostly a light blue color, but I didn't have one piece of cloth or piece of paper big enough for this, so I the used two small pieces I did have, which, unfortunately, didn't match.
The finished painting.
The One That Got Away
Signed on front. Signed and dated on back.50 paintings in 50 days challenge | Daily Painting | fishing lures | oil painting | Step by Step | Still Life