Tuesday, March 8, 2011


And now for something completely different.... ;-)

I went about painting this still life about the same as usual, but this time I took pictures of my process. I like it when other artists show their process work, so I wanted to see how it would work with mine. My paintings almost always start off sort of abstract because I'm trying to lay out dark areas, light areas, and figure out other composition issues.

Next I start with the block-in drawing, which is basically a line drawing with colors and values added between the lines. I usually work on everything at the same time, so that everything has the same amount of completion and I don't end up focusing too much on one part of the painting and lose the overall composition. But since I was working with strawberries (the leaves wilt quickly), I finished the strawberries one by one.

In the first pic I laid out my main dark and light areas, and while I worked on the strawberries individually, I worked on the rest of the painting in stages. First I refined the dark background, added the block-ins, and then worked on values. At this point I blocked in the fruit and added some color. This also allowed me to mark the position of the fruit.

At this stage I'm still blocking in strawberries. I've refined most of the background and I'm almost finished with the bowl.

Here's the finished painting. One of the fun things about working with this still life is rendering the different surfaces, like the rust on the can and the skin on the strawberries. Feel free to comment or criticize.


  1. This is great!! Thank you for posting your process, Richard. I always wondered how you worked your magic. :)

    How large is the finished painting? It's a winner for sure.

    Also, something unexpected: It was almost suspenseful going down through the pictures to see what the final painting had in it. When it started out, I didn't expect the little jar and rusty can behind the strawberry bowl!

  2. Hi Birdbrain,

    The finished painting is 16x20. Thanks for looking and commenting. :-)