Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coffee Cup

This was a painting that I thought would be a total disaster but turned out to be something I like. My main focus was to use value to introduce some emotional dimension to a mundane item, in this case a coffee cup. I wanted to use a combination of bluish hues and an orangey-earthy tones (In this case burnt sienna).

I was excited to start this painting because I was using arches paper, which I don't always use but always flatters my paintings. The reason I love Arches paper is that it tends to make everything look just a little bit better.

I started the background first and it was a disaster - colours totally undefined, running all over the place. It just looked like crap. Fortunately being stubborn I decided to let it dry while I painted the coffee inside the cup, then eventually went back to it and went over the entire background with a combination of the two colours, making a very dark and cool mood. The shadows on the cup are a result of some shading techniques I have been practicing.

I like the restrained use of the limited palette, the fact that I didn't give up on a painting, and I also like the cool, dark, "night time" feel that accurately captures the mood I was going for.

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  1. Nice,

    Gives me the feeling of when I first awake and the eyes are just adjusting to that morning light and starting to focus.


  2. Hi Eric - I am an artist friend of Paul's and during my consumate "Blurfing", or blog surfing, I came across yours. Your watercolors are charming, colorful and lively. I can tell you enjoy painting! I personally avoid watercolors at all costs, but if you want to learn a few tips, try this blog -, she is also a friend of Paul's and is very generous in sharing her skills. Keep painting - Judy

  3. Hi Judy, thank you for the kind words. I'm glad my paintings made an impression on you. I do truly enjoy painting; I find it very relaxing. I appreciate the link - it looks like that lady's website is geared to instruction and she is very accomplished so I will check it out! I have seen your site too; it looks like you are also an inspired artist.

    Thanks again for the feedback!


  4. I like what Paul said because the painting has the same effect on me. We see so many white cups with coffee in them but this is one is a bit different, and thus refreshing as it is.