Short Video Demo
Peeled Lemon | 9×12 inches | Oil on Canvas
The theme of this little painting, Peeled Lemons, is a favorite of mine – peeled fresh fruit with old books. This book is a prayer book dated 1715. I love the mix of textures. The intertwining of old and new intrigues me. The fleeting freshness of the lemon’s peel and juicy meat dried within hours of being peeled. The peel almost embraces the prayer book, a treasured possession of a now forgotten man or woman whose notes, written nearly 300 years ago, can be discovered on its pages.
Peeled Lemons started as a live demonstration on the final day of my show and finished in the studio. This short video shows the progression of the painting from pencil sketch to the last highlight.
0:06 – Pencil drawing on primed canvas. I make it smudge free with a light spray of retouch varnish.
0:10 – Tone the with a mixture of yellow ochre and viridian thinned with mineral spirits.* The tone is brushed on and spread with a paper towel.
0:18 – Using a paper towel and brushes I lift the highlights from the tone while it is still wet.
0:27 – Blocking in the darks.
0:30 – Blocking in the middle tones leaving the highlight areas white.
The middle tones will remain a little darker than the final will be. This gives me room to play with the values and as I refine the painting.
0:36 – Refining through blending middle tones, deepening the shadows, adding details, and laying some highlights. At this stage the highlights are still muted.
0:40 – Final refinement of details, edges and highlights.
M Graham Walnut Oil Paints
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Transparent Red Oxide
Titanium White (quick drying)
* I painted Peeled Lemon in 2010. I no longer use mineral spirits because of its volatility and toxicity.