i was heating up a cup of coffee the other day, and noticed that jim had put the apples up out of hte way of the grandson, who likes to take one bite of each and put them back.
they looked so old masterish, glowing in the gloom of the microwave alcove. i just had to paint them. and then there was the face of the microwave itself, which was crusted with stains. i really liked the juxtaposition of the green apples in the inky darkness with the grime of the ‘table’ they were on. old and new. sublime and filthy. it’s a metaphor.
so this is the first try at an underpainting. i’m using pastels, and not bothering to fixt them because i’m just going to spread cold wax on the board. it’s a masonite board, and it’s 30×40, a size i like to work with. i didn’t want to make a small painting, i wanted more than lifesize so i could show all the grime.
when i looked at it upside down, i realized that the apples weren’t large enough, and the rotating cup was too big and out of position. there are still some ellipse problems with the cup, but i’ll fix that.
the underpainting shows the tones i can see in the photo i took. the various shades of red-purple and blue-purple are the shadows and contours of the microwave, rather than the actual colors. the whole thing is white, of course, but if you look closely at white, you can see all the colors.
this is good enough to start painting over, so i’m going to start with white. i’m actually thinking ahead at this moment, because white is the hardest pigment to handle in encaustic – it has to heat up much more than darker colors in order to fuse, which means that if you’ve already got darker colors on your painting, they’re going to run by the time you soften up the white. you can solve this by masking, which works well, or by choosing what order you put the paints on. in this case, i’m going for white everywhere white is, and then i’ll think about modifying the colors with shadows and things.
i’ll do that next.