The Tyranny of the Scene

As I wrote last week, I am taking a class and the first two sessions are concentrating on painting white objects.  The set up I chose was white ceramic chickens with a glass bowl of white eggs.  My finished exercise looks like this:

Eggs and Ceramic Chicken, 7.5" x 11"

I’m not unhappy with the result, but as I have thought about it this week, I have realized that I succumbed to the tyranny of the scene in front of me.  That was not the picture that I wanted to paint!  But what did I have in mind?

I want the eggs to be the focal point, and I want to challenge myself to put in the chicken with its red comb and wattle without letting it upstage the eggs.  I also want to leave a section of the painting unfinished, or suggestive.

So today I worked on my plan.  I started out by drawing the eggs and the chicken.  They were beside one another in the set up and in my drawing, until I realized that I wanted the chicken to overlap the bowl.  So I folded the paper until the chicken’s beak was in front of the bowl.

11" x 14"

That was better, but still not what I wanted.  However, I found that I do want to use cadmium red for all the elements of the painting, a monochromatic color scheme.   Mixing Winsor green with the cadmium red makes a very dark value to put behind the eggs.

Mixed on the paette, you can see the dark value possibilities.

So here is a value study:

I'm going to be more suggestive with the lower left corner. 11" x 14"

I think I like it, and will think about it over the weekend.  Painting is going to have to wait until next week because this weekend is my father’s 80th birthday and there will be a lot of family in town.

I'm interested in hearing what you think!

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