Saturday, 26 January 2013

Coffee Time

After the euphoria of finishing the  'Teasels' painting it was back to more mundane things and Avon Valley Artists subject of the week, which was 'Coffee Time'
I really did want a bit of a change and frequently use these sessions to do a bit of experimental work. Sometimes it succeeds and sometimes it is not what I am after but worth trying out.
As I was a bit stuck for good ideas, I decided to try something a bit more modern maybe, and create a composition based on a painting which used to hang in my daughters first flat. It was a very simple composition of a cup and a jug very close up with only half of each visible and in white and pale blue only.

I kept the idea of a limited palette, but chose a coffee pot to fit the subject critera and a blue and white mug and orange plate in the background.
It is a square , which is not such a good idea as square frames are hard to come by and so expensive to have made, but I decided to go along with it as I was sure it would not be good enough to frame anyway, and using a square format is all part of the experiment.

I did the drawing, outlines only, and then washed colour over most of the paper, leaving small areas of white, but very few, and added a bit of salt for background texture.
Using the limited palette,Cadmium Blue, Ultra marine Blue, Moonglow, a little Quinachridone Magenta, Paynes Grey and Translucent Orange I painted in the images. I used pure paint for the very dark areas and Acrylic Gouache white for the highlights.
I think it worked better than expected, but before I can mount it, I will have to flatten it, as it was not stretched, and has not dried totally flat. I do this by generously spraying the reverse side of the paper and then allowing it to dry between two pieces of MDF, with the painting protected from the boards with white paper. I am always afraid that the damp wood will bleed colour into the painting.This process always works very well.

'Coffee Pot and Mug'

One of the other members was painting from the gorgeous photograph below, taken I believe in Morrocco, and I thought I would love to have a go at painting it.
She was very happy to lend me the image so when I returned home, I set to, to give it a go.

I was not absolutely sure who took the photo, so whilst doing a fairly detailed drawing, I gave some thought to how I should make it my own. I wanted to get those lovely deep glowing dark jewel colours to give it a Persian feel, so I decided to change the background colours, and I thought the balance would be better by the addition of another pot. In hindsight, I think this may have been a mistake, but I would have ended up with another square format painting!

After the drawing I proceeded as usual, washing lots of colours into the background, but trying to avoid the pots, as I wanted them to be quite fresh in the finished painting. I textured the background and when all this was dry, I painted in the objects using the colours from the background.
I finally put several washes over the background because I felt it was not dark enough, and am still not sure if it could not go even darker on the LH side.

The finished painting does not 'glow' as I would have liked it to do, but some areas are quite pleasing to my mind, and I will take a copy of the photo, and maybe have another go at a later date. Like all club sessions, one of the most interesting parts is the way in which we see how members interpret the subject, and these two ideas could not be more different!

'Persian Pots'


  1. Glad you got there in the end, well worth the effort to overcome the technology. I enjoy the abstract quality of the first one and the limited palette suits the subject matter. Great source material for the second and a very colourful interpretation. I have one small comment and it refers to the pot you have added to the left. It appears to be suspended in mid air and I've studied it to ask myself why? I think it's because you have created an apparent table edge on the right where the colour changes from blue to orange and my eye expects to see that edge continued on the left hand side. That seems a lot of words for a small observation and it still make a strong image.

  2. Thanks for the comment Mick. Glad you like the modern metal. As regards the second one, I see what you are saying, and the supposed table edge on the right is a bit unfortunate, and highlighted more in the photo than the original. However this change of colour cannot be indicative of a table edge or the coffee pot would fall off the back of the 'table'. However, if you see it like that, then others will. So maybe I need to create a table edge. I did try on the original but washed it out as it did not seem to work. Will give it some thought. Maybe increase the shadow under the LH pot and blending the two colours on the right more effectively.

    1. Have had another look, Mick and you need to ignore the comment about the coffee pot falling of the back of the table. As its standing on the tray, It can overhang the edge.

  3. My coffee pot painting is already in the recycle bin so I'll leave it at that! As for yours It's vastly better than mine but I still prefer the Persian Pots painting with it's lovely combinations of oranges and blues - complimentary colours par excellence

  4. You do yourself too short Peter, I really liked your 'Coffee Time'! Thanks for the comments about mine. The great thing about the Persian Pots is the source photo. I may have several goes, its so great!

  5. Beautiful. I can feel the tempreture.

    Blue background is gorgeous.Very sophisricated pieces.

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Thanks for the lovely comments, Hani Hani. I am happy to share with anyone interested. Glad you enjoy looking