White Eggs on White

Red Apple on Red

Red Apple on Green

My oils class is over. After paint­ing the white eggs on a white back­ground, we painted the same red apple on two dif­fer­ent back­grounds, red and green. Then we painted the same limes on two dif­fer­ent back­grounds, green and red. This exer­cise was pri­mar­ily to demon­strate the power of com­pli­men­tary colors.

Limes on Green

Limes on Red

We switched gears after that and Jan had me and Andrea, the other stu­dent who was tak­ing this class at the more advanced level, choose taxi­dermy birds from the Yale Peabody Museum’s col­lec­tion that are avail­able in the class­room build­ing. I did the yel­low war­bler first. Then I painted the wood thrush.

Yellow Warbler

On the last day of class, Jan had me con­tinue to work on the wood thrush to a point, then whisked my paint­ing away from me. I was get­ting hung up on the details, as I am prone to do. This time I was try­ing to get the feet more defined, but the paint­ing was done enough and it was time to let it go. She wanted me to focus on the last assign­ment and I only had 1  1/2 hours left of class time in which to do it.

Wood Thrush

She had a lemon sliced in half. I was to do the line draw­ing and then paint the lemon as much as pos­si­ble in that short time, show depth and all the val­ues using only two col­ors: yel­low and pur­ple. The col­ors didn’t match, in fact, couldn’t match, but the paint­ing has the whole value scale and it reads as a lemon sit­ting in space. I didn’t think I could do it, because I tend to be cau­tious and slow, but I did it! The time limit forced me to make my deci­sions more quickly and slap the paint on faster. Jan was so pleased she took a pic­ture of it.

The final project is due soon. I went to the gro­cery store today to con­tem­plate the pro­duce and get what I need for the paint­ing. Now I have to get busy!


I am cur­rently tak­ing two classes. One is spring flow­ers in graphite. So far we’ve drawn tulips, calla lilies, and petu­nias. Very chal­leng­ing. The other is Fun­da­men­tals in Sci­en­tific Illus­tra­tion II. Right now we are draw­ing pinecones. Pinecones are hard! I will have to post pic­tures of those pieces when I’m done, but here’s a teaser: my draw­ing of the red tulip with white edges.

Red and White Tulip