"Pepper Trio"

"Pepper Trio"
7" x 13" pastel on Canson MiTienes Paper

I'm usually not a fan of warm colors so I rarely use bright yellows and oranges in my work except for highlights but I thought these three bell peppers needed a bright environment. 

My process for doing these little still life paintings has been to set up my subjects with a good, side light on a bright piece of paper or colored fabric and photograph them from a variety of different angles.  I then load those images on my little netbook computer and stew over which composition I prefer.

While I paint, I sometimes have my netbook image up on the computer beside me, a print-out of the photo I liked plus (and most importantly) I have the actual subject (in this case, the peppers) set up in front of me. 

Sounds complicated but the three sources each give me a different view that I can manipulate to create my painting.  I can also digitally "pump up" the highlights and shadows if I want.  Sometimes I don't pay attention to any of the resources and just play.  I'm not really interested in absolute realism but more in these paintings being very simple and filled with vivid color choices. 

Leonardo daVinci loved to use the technology of his day.  I tell my students to do the same.


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