Flashlight, clothespins, shark still life (wips and done)

april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_done

And another one! April has been a great month for digital still life paintings.

This one is pretty heavy on the red stuff, but that’s okay -I always love working with a limited palette. I think the big clothespin up front is my favorite. The shark is a rubber toy (alas, it does not squeak, but I always thought it should squeak) that used to sit on the wall separating my cube from the cube of one of my favorite co-workers. (Look, I still have your shark, Sean! He is well cared for. Haha :))

Anyway, here are some WIPs revealing just how sloppily this thing got started. I’m not a big sketcher, I just like to start putting in forms and adjust from there.april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_wip01

I try to block in everything before going too far on any particular part.april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_wip02

Bam, a shark appears! (I wish I had more opportunities to say that in real life.)april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_wip03

And the narrow slots between my oversized blinds! Isn’t this a tiny flashlight? I think it came free with a pack of batteries or something. april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_wip04 april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_wip05 april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_wip06

I know the airbrush is considered uncouth by some, but I think it’s handy for making foam balls look as smooth in the painting as they do in real life. It’s also nice for fabric highlights.

april_still_life_flashlight_shark_clothespins_red_doneYup, that clothespin up front is definitely my favorite part of this scene.

It’s just a practice still life so I don’t worry a lot about composition as I set these up, but as a finished piece it’s pretty chaotic. A better still life would probably feature a variety of object sizes, fewer objects, or both. 😛 I tend to choose just small objects for my still lifes since the platform I put them on is so small (it’s maybe 10″ x 10″).

Anyway, this is like… still life #4 or so for April, so I think I’m done eating my veggies for at least a few weeks. BACK TO INDULGENT FANTASY STUFF!

 

Metal cup and rattle still life, daylight (done)

april_still_life_baby_toys_daylight_donePositions unchanged since last time, but this one was painted in early morning daylight coming in from the window behind the scene.

I used the previous nighttime version as a base, but corrected a lot of little perspective things (and could probably keep going – ARGH, CIRCLES lol). Painting in daylight means working fast and taking few, if any, breaks, lest the light change too much. The light changed quite a bit in just the 90 or so minutes I spent on this one, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out!

Nearly every artist I admire paints a crap load of stuff from life for practice, so I’m just gonna keep going…

Previously:

 

 

Metal cup and rattle still life, white lamp (done)

april_still_life_baby_toys_1_soft_light_done

I’m so happy with how this one turned out! Here’s Jim’s metal baby rattle and cup again, this time in a more traditional lighting setup (one ordinary white bulb off to the left, and a couple of ambient white bulbs elsewhere in the room).

I even saved some WIPs from this ~2.5 hour painting study.

april_still_life_baby_toys_1_soft_light_wip01 april_still_life_baby_toys_1_soft_light_wip02

april_still_life_baby_toys_1_soft_light_done

Previously: 

 

Metal cup and rattle still life, red and blue lamps (done)

april_still_life_baby_toys_2_lights_doneThis tiny metal cup and barbell were apparently Jim’s toys when he was a baby (which was in the 1980s, not the 1930s, so these outdated toys have always been rather fascinating to me – I was also a baby in the 80s and my toys were plastic and made by Fischer Price, lol) . At least now we know how he grew up to be so METAAAAL.

Sorry I didn’t save any WIPs, this one just went kinda quick. There is a blue LED bulb to the left and a red filament bulb to the right. With both bulbs nearby, the white blanket (seriously, that blanket is stark white under normal lights) looks like it was dipped in fluorescent paint.

Also: ARGH, CIRCLES.

 

Chompy still life #2 (blue and red lights)

chompy_still_life_red_blue_lightsChompy #2 is done! This one has a blue spotlight to the left and a red lamp to the right in an otherwise darkened room (well, plus monitor light). Future Chompys will be from new angles, because why not? Having an articulated plastic skull pretty much requires mixing it up. I only wish the teeth were more accurate.

This colored lightbulb version was challenging because of what I believe is a limitation of my monitor. The brightest spots on the skull looked so much bluer in real life, like a much higher saturation blue that I couldn’t achieve in Photoshop / on my monitor. I got as close as I could.

Previously in the Chompy series:

 

Dice, Spool, Ornament under 6 different lighting setups (done)

dice-ornament-spool-lighting-seriesAnd… it’s done! I kept it set up as long as I could, but eventually the need to move my desk to my new place outweighed the need to continue this series any further.

I enjoyed it very much and I’m already putting together my next still life practice scene. I also have a very cool collection of different colored lightbulbs to play with next time around. (Do you know how hard it is to find a blue or green lightbulb in Seattle a week before the Seahawks play in the Super Bowl? It is hard.)

All of them:
#6 – Blue lightbulb lamp to the left
#5 – Red and green lamps
#4 – CFL spotlight to the left
#3 – Pink Christmas lights to the left
#2 – Interior floor lamps
#1 – Early winter afternoon daylight

Dice, spool, ornament still life – red and green lamps (#5)

Here’s #5 in my still life lighting series. Painting from life into Photoshop has proven a reliably interesting use of my time, so I think I’ll continue this series for at least a few more iterations.

In this version there’s a lamp with a red lightbulb (and a red shade!) positioned to the left of the scene, and a small lamp with a green bulb behind a white shade to the right.
dice-spoon-ornament_red_green_lights

 

For some reason – not sure if it was because of the two-light arrangement – this one seemed to take longer than the previous pieces. The matte-finish ornament in the center is my favorite part of the scene. I’m getting tired of painting the spool of thread. I’m neutral about the dice.

😀

Photoshop CS6
A few hours

Previously:
#4 – CFL spotlight to the left
#3 – Pink Christmas lights to the left
#2 – Interior floor lamps
#1 – Early winter afternoon daylight