Monday, 31 March 2008

One mug for two apples - Oil painting

I wanted to take advantage of a sunny spell during the week-end to paint a still life from nature. The canvas was not toned, so I started with highly diluted washes.

This painting was done alla prima with a single brush: a long flat hog brush number 4. I did not restrict myself consciously, I just started with this brush and get so absorbed in the painting process that I carried on to the end. I did not feel the need at any time to switch to a smaller brush or a round one.

One mug for two apples - Oil on linen (18 X 24 cm) by Benoit Philippe

The subject is simple and complex at the same time. It is simple as far as the props are concerned: a mug we use for tea and two apples from the fruit basket. It is a complex painting because of the multiple reflexions:

  • Reflexion of the apples and the mug on the glossy surface of the windowsill and in the glass pane behind;

  • Reflexion the apples on the glazed mug.

There is an abstract beauty to the crossing of shadows and reflections on the windowsill.

The backlit objects display dramatic contrasts reinforced by the antagonism of greens and reds, one of the strongest opposition of complimentary colours you can get on the colour wheel.

Although colours are strong, there is still a theme or a motive developed within this painting: the red rim and handle of the mug echo the colours of the apples.

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