I finally started a painting using the Tang Lady figurine I found during one of my many trips to China over the last decade.  The other objects in the painting were also collected in China during visits to Shanghai, Beijing, and other parts of China.

This blog will show each stage of the painting.

DAY 1:  

Setting up a still life can take a few minutes, or several hours depending on the concept that evolves.  Today, I spent a couple of hours selecting the objects, adjusting, placing, and then finally deciding upon the still-life composition. 

The next step was massing in the forms from dark to light, and at the same time, creating an accurate basic drawing of the objects in relation to each other, all the while keeping the composition within the rectangle of the canvas key.  The first stage is painted in with a mixture of ultramarine blue, burnt umber, and some burnt sienna for warmer areas.  This first stage if very important to the building of a painting, and will set the stage for a successful finish. 

Had to stop at this stage in late afternoon when the sun was no longer strong enough to continue ( I paint in daylight, from life).   To be continued........


The TANG LADY painting is emerging....the harmonious shades of jade, grey, and earth tones create a tranquil stage for the central Tang Lady figurine.....to be continued,,,,


On the easel, TANG LADY is coming along.  The front sprig of dried eucalyptus leaves was painted to have sharper detail and more contrast in the foreground, and less detail and less contrast as it moves backward in space.  The slight changes in value of each leaf is carefully observed to cause the sprig to have the illusion of depth. It also allows the viewer to focus on the intended foreground.  To be continued......

TANG LADY  -  More Progress

More progress made on TANG LADY......she is emerging from the canvas like magic.    I am now focusing in on the figurine where more of the refined detail will occur so that the viewer's eye will focus on the main subject.  The painting should be completed soon , and I will post final painting when ready.....to be continued........

TANG LADY - Finished and signed

The painting details are saved for last.  The most contrast, sharpest edges, and refinement of detail are saved for the Tang Lady and the vase directly in front of the figurine.  This helps the viewer to focus on the central image which is the concept of the painting. Other details are also important, but they should be less emphasized.  The strong light reflected on the left round background bowl and the lightest dried lunaria leaves lead the eye to the figurine. The geometry of the painting is a triangle within a rectangle, or a diagonal juxtaposed with the strong vertical of the figurine. The dried eucalyptus branches and dried lunaria leaves mimic the shapes within the painting allowing for subtle movement and visual interest to guide the viewer through the painting.