Oranges and Lemons

For a while I’ve been thinking about doing another painting in acrylic, only I haven’t been sure what to try. I find acrylic a bit intimidating, and so far I’ve felt I’ve had to be ‘in the right mood’ to have a go. When I saw the light glancing off this glass fruit bowl, it seemed the time was right to get the acrylics out, and for once I had time. I had a bit of spare board kicking about, so getting started was simple enough – a plate, the paints, a little water and a flat brush were all I needed.

Fruit bowl acrylic

I began with the background, which is always a scary place for me. I decided on a brown/blue combination which I hoped would complement the oranges in the bowl. The jury’s still out on whether this was a good choice, but it’s too late to worry about it. Maybe in reptrospect I should have graduated the background from dark at the top to lighter towards the middle and bottom. Still not sure! The composition is also a bit odd, I could definitely do better there I think if I were to paint something similar another time.

I don’t know how it’s generally done, but I didn’t sketch the bowl first before painting as I knew I’d be painting the background over my sketch. Maybe a patient person would have made the sketch on top of the background once it was dry…I probably should have done this, but taking a risk is part of the thrill of painting. Surprisingly then, the bowl itself went on relatively simply. Having put in the background first really helped to quickly convey the transparency of the glass, and it was very enjoyable just adding in the darks and highlights to form the bowl shape.

The fruit was actually very hard to do. I don’t have enough experience of analysing darks and shadows, and this made getting the contours and shape of the citruses really tough. I tried blues, browns, greens…with varying degrees of success. Part of what I find I enjoy with acrylics is the ability to smear the paint around and into other colours; today that was both a blessing in some places, and a curse in others.

All in all, I’m ok with the final picture – it represents a beginning, and new possibilities and potential. Hopefully I’ll get the acrylics out more in 2016 and see what happens…

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38 thoughts on “Oranges and Lemons

  1. Looks like warm evening light. The glass really worked well. I just tried adding a dark gradient to the top in Photoshop to see what it’d be like and compositionally it seems to work a little better but it also feels quieter and less upbeat with the dark top. What if you had some other things in the background that are blurred, like a camera that’s only focusing on the bowl? That could break up the background without losing the sense of light flooding in. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much for the feedback and suggestions, that’s very kind. I agree that I’d like to keep the feeling of the light, so I like your idea of adding some other vague objects, and can see how that might work. I think I’ll live with it as it is a while and see how the ideas crystallise… composition’s not my strong point, but I’m trying to learn! πŸ™‚

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    • Ah, John, you’re so right about the fruit – when I started it I innocently thought that was going to be the straightforward bit! I’m much wiser now. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the very lovely comment.

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  2. Oh my gosh…that glass is so masterful!! Awesome work Rebecca! β€οΈπŸ˜ƒ Overall this piece immediately made me go “ahhh” “ooooo” like when you’re looking at fireworks. That’s probably a good indication that it’s awesome. Anything can be made a little more or less this or that, but the overall impression you’ve created is amazing!! Love it!!

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    • I’ve just spotted that and read your lovely post – thank you very much AgnesLise, you’re too kind. I’m writing the blog response right now, should be able to post it up later… πŸ™‚

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  3. Wow! Love how the light reflects off your glass bowl, Rebecca! ❀️ I’m so impressed with your art and how you tackle such difficult subjects like a glass bowl! And your fruit look delish! YAY! Rebecca! πŸŒŸπŸŽ¨πŸ‘

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