Monday, February 11, 2013

Mortar and pestle

Tony Curanaj paints still life in oil with extraordinary ability and a fine eye (and brush) for detail. His rendering of a Balkan pepper mill caught my eye; the ornate brass was rendered faithfully on a small canvas with the sort of hyper-realism that can only be achieved by oils or acrylics.
I have a brass apothecary's mortar and pestle that I picked up for eight euros at a brocante - and I have been waiting to paint it in a still life setting.
The picture on the left is the set-up that I chose to use. The book title will change to something in keeping with the subject matter. The bone was a piece of vertebra that I found, and decided to put into the picture as material that might possibly have been ground down for medicinal use. The picture on the right is the photograph reduced to sixteen colours in Paint Shop.

The next picture is my sixteen-colour underpainting with hard pastels on Pastelmat.

After that comes the start of the detailing with soft pastels, mostly Rembrandts, but with Sennelier for their extraordinary range of yellow-greens. The pestle is close to being finished and I have started on the interior and the rim.

The final picture here shows most of the mortar done, and and background put in to ascertain the contrast between the brightest brights (note - there is no white in this picture) and the dark background.

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