Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blue vase - still life in oil

Over the last few weeks, I've been visiting op-shops and garage sales and picking up interesting odds and ends for use in still life paintings.

This blue vase was one of the things I collected. It is a very dark, yet intense blue with a gold and silver foil pattern on one side. The small cream-coloured ceramic pot is one I picked up at an op-shop years ago. The flowers are synthetic, but if you don't tell anyone, then I won't mention it either.

Blue vase
25x30cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

I almost never do still life paintings but I want 2014 to be the year where that changes. This painting is the first step in that journey. I started it at 8pm yesterday when the mood suddenly hit, and I was done by 10pm, with a short break half-way through. I had already set it up the day before.

I don't consider it finished but I'm happy with the overall feeling of it as a "proof of concept".

The palette is quite limited: ultramarine, permanent crimson, cad-yellow light, yellow ochre and burnt sienna.

The lighting for this was supplied by an old domestic compact fluorescent globe but I got a new full-spectrum compact fluoro yesterday that I hope to use in future.


  1. not exactly a sheeps skull
    i looked up the flowers in my world book of flowers
    synthetia plasticii i think, although they look a bit reddish
    i know this maybe radical , but have you tried a window for light?
    was this on your "not a doric" plinth?

  2. It's been a while since I left Perth, dear brother, but unless my memory is failing me, I don't recall there being much window light between 8 & 10pm, even in summer! :)

    The real problems with window light, though, are that it's never where you want it when you want it, inconsistent and it tends to light up a large chunk of the room, bouncing around and subduing shadows. I like shadows.

    And yes, this was set on my you-beaut, DIY, adjustable still-life stand. I even adjusted it to get it to the desired height. It works. Colour me amazed.

    1. 8pm i thought i read 8am, i should of known better :)
      that link reminds me
      when i said "something novel" in the comments
      a vase of flowers isnt what i was expecting
      i was expecting a novel
      like Tolstoy by Warren Piece

    2. Yep. I picked up a few of them at Good Sammy's the other day. They're in the studio, on the shelf waiting their turn. They're not by Douglas Adams so I'll never read them - so I might as well paint them.

    3. And yes, I saw what you did there.