Thursday, 3 September 2015

Still life in red & green (with a cat)

oil painting of Garden scene with cat, pet portrait by karen
The original idea for this had been to paint some garden furniture and objects in a delightful, sunlit garden, with suitably dappled light, to represent the hazy days of summer we pretty much have not had due to all the rain. 

My cat Oscar said he fancied being part of a summer like that too, so here he is.

I chose a limited palette of cad yellow pale, transparent oxide red and black. It is possible to mix a nice olive-ish green from the yellow and black, but this lacks the punch I really wanted for my apples and for the colour echo in Oscar's eyes. 
So I wimped out and added a little Cadmium Green Pale from the W&N Artists range. This is one of my more expensive tubes of paint but so worth it. I haven't found a way of mixing such a yummy apple-green myself.
A bit non-plussed at first about the best order of work for this piece, in the end I started with the cat and painted him to completion. Then I worked the background in behind him. I did the same thing with the objects on the table: painted them in then put the background in around them.
As this is a 'daily painting' my goal is to complete wet-into-wet in a single sitting. I didn't work from the background forwards because of concern that the colours would mush up too much, especially as I used a lot more white than normal in this one.