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Dark Ages by CraigE

Submit an Entry: Painting Project: Opaque Colors

By CraigE

Dark Ages by CraigE

Dark Ages

Dark Ages by CraigE

Title and Medium

Dark Ages. 11" x 14". Oil on canvas board

Burnt Umber, Van Dyke Brown, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ocher. Pomegranates, berries, and candle: Rose Madder, Camdium Red, Lemon Yellow. Flame and reflections: Titanium White

Artist's Statement

A great project to begin the new year! This was experimental for me in many ways: using opaques per instructions, my first attempt at realism using oils, and my first painting using primarily earthy colors.

The reference photos which this piece was based on really grabbed me and was especiallying fitting for this exercise. I have wanted to do a picture using darker tones for some time, and was intrigued by the contrast between the areas of darkness and shadows with those in the flickering candlelight. The wooden bowl originally held yellowish apples, but I had some pomegranates in the house and used them instead. (Referencing from flat 2-dimensional photographs versus real objects is like viewing a range of mountains on a TV screen or being there in person!). I also wanted to keep a minimal amount of hues, limited to browns and reds.

What I'd Do Differently

  • Nothing. I think I met the goals I set forth when formulating ideas for this project. I really liked how the berries turned out because I was dreading the day when I had to do them, but they whipped out in "one take" and in about an hour. Ain't that the way creative activities usually go?

Marion Boddy-Evans, About.com Painting, says:

Given how your dreaded berries have turned out, I hope you're tackling whatever's next on your dreaded list!

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