daily painting titled Oignons Doux

Oignons Doux

21cm x 11cm (8¼"x4½"), oil on gessoed card Painting status: SOLD
Daily painting for Wednesday 11 March, 2009
Posted in Still life paintings


Simple subject, great painting.

Julian--don't get me wrong. I loved the pears yesterday but I am a complete sucker for the still life paintings that concentrate more on the battle between light and shadow. Your mastery at capturing light and shadow and then texture make mundane objects like a crust of bread, a wedge of cheese, or two onions just sing. These simple onions are just glowing (sorry, now I'm mixing metaphors)--your skill really is remarkable.

I agree with Eric. Love the soft, but dramatic light and your sensitivity to reflected light. You make the process look so easy I can get lost in the subject.

Julian: Tears of joy my friend, tears of joy.

Something about your onions, these and some done earlier are truly phenomenal. I wonder, because I am a beginner painter, do you put the background color on first, the really dark "wall" and then add the lighter tones and lighten them up until you're finished?

Absolute opposition between two geometric shapes: triangle against circle. But by the orientation of the tea-rose stalk and the repeated outlines on the lighted sides, you are reaching, Julian, to the greatest harmony.

A great painting. And I have the same questions as rachael above. How do you paint something like this?

Hi Rachel, Rene, I started (I think) by roughing in the onions in thinned paint, establishing the dark and light halves of the forms and then darkened in the background. I spent alot of time on the edges of the onions as the shadows bleed into the background, working both outwards into the shadow and in towards the lit forms. I guess I'm working up and down (light/dark) from a mid tone adding more detail/complexity/depth as I go. If I need to darken the background more it will usually accept more paint by the latter stages and I often use a little sun-bleached oil with turps to help it flow. I tend to end with the plane and shadows under and in front of the objects.

Thank you, Julian. It's a helpful description.