Tuesday, November 23, 2010

River rocks

River Rocks 12x9 pastel, copyright 2010

I almost gave up on this one.  At about the half way point I realized the rocks just looked like blobs, there was too much purple and yellow, and it really wasn't amounting to much.  But I kept on it, hoping it was simply, as I've heard one artist put it, at the "awkward teenager stage".  It's pretty common for artwork to look awkward in the middle and for the artist to wonder, "Is this really going to work?"  It's a matter of seeing the potential there and pushing through the doubts.  A highlight here, blend a little there, tone it down a little here and pretty soon it was back on track.

I enjoy these still lifes with deep shadows and strong contrasts.  They make for dramatic images, even with simple everyday objects.  It's been awhile since I've done one of these as I seemed to have been focusing on landscapes lately.   But a recent purchase of a lamp got me back into it.  It's just a basic light, but it has a clamp and a flexible arm which means I can place and point it just about anywhere.  It's great for getting those dramatic shadows.  I might have to start poking around the house looking for more ideas for a still life.

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