This weeks club subject was Cakes and Sweets. There was a bit of confusion about whether we should have included both in the painting, but as I had already prepared my drawing, there was little I could do about it. Hence I had only used the 'Cakes' bit!
I set up a still life in the studio using a couple of pieces of earthenware that I particularly like together with some of Mr kipling's French Fancies. I like these cakes because of their very clean colours and they go with the browns of the crockery quite well.
I used a couple of pieces of dark brown card for the background as I wanted the white of the pot interiors and the cakes to be a real contrast to the rest of the painting. I am not sure if this works but I am always ready to try something new!
I used Fabriano 140lb cold pressed paper and did a reasonable comprehensive drawing. Where there are lots of ellipses, I try to get them reasonably correct in the drawing as I do not have a very accurate eye for this sort of thing and could never do them freehand with the paint brush.
I painted the pots first, trying to be really bold with the dark colours so that they could be merged into the background on the LH side, and then I worked on the cakes. I always try to do the subject part of the painting during club time, as this seems to be in the spirit of things! If the painting does not get finished in club time, it is important to me that I have stuck to the brief!
When the objects had all been painted, I pondered the background. As a flower painter, I do not have too many dark earth colours in my palette, but consultation with those around me who paint lots of landscapes, I mixed up a pool of Burnt Umber (which I had to borrow) and Ultramarine Blue.
I used this for the whole of the background getting paler as I moved across the paper by adding more water to the mix.
I then added some Black Indian Ink to the bottom LH corner to make it really dark and to lose the side and handle of the cup.
When all this was dry, there was some justified comment that the RH side had become very 'paynes grey' in colour (this was not a compliment!!) so when I got home I gave it some thought, and I re-washed the background with more Burnt umber into which I dropped Translucent Orange. I strengthened the shadows with more Indian Ink and now hope that the' paynes grey' is a thing of the past!
Stupidly, whilst putting on the initial background was, I got a hair trapped in the paint. I tried to remove it whilst the paint and paper were still wet, and now I have an ugly set of marks just above the cakes where the paint has pooled into the grooves made by my nail. How can I have been so stupid? Still, live and learn!