Still Life Painting

still life with musical instruments

Still Life With Musical Instruments

This is probably the best still life that I’ve painted yet. It’s about 40″ wide, and depicts a goat-skin drum with a stringless violin, an alto recorder, and four books.

I painted it without cameras, or any other mechanical aid, strictly from life.

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Tomato On Board

This is one of the many tomatoes that my wife grew in her garden last year

She also had lots of eggplants and cucumbers and peppers, but didn’t paint any of them. I wish I had now, but she’s going to do it again this year, so I’ll have another chance. The thing about painting fresh vegetables or flowers is that you have to work fast! You can’t let the project drag on for days and days (for obvious reasons.)

There’s nothing like garden-grown vegetables. They really do taste better than the ones you get from the grocery store. My wife is happy that this “Square-Foot Garden” technique is working out really well.

This canvas is 10″ x 20″ and the paint is oil (no medium used; only mineral spirits to thin it.)

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lava lamps

Still Life with Lava Lamps

12″ x 16″ oil on pre-stretched canvas.

Two Lava Lamps with a vase with a little crystal ball balanced on top.I made several changes from how this arrangement looks in real life. The room isn’t so orange, and the vase actually has a more complex pattern on it.

Also, that’s a chessboard that I positioned the objects on, but I didn’t paint the squares.

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The Rising of the Moon

The Rising of the Moon

This is oil on canvas, about 18″ x 24″.

I painted it without cameras or any other mechanical aid.

I rested the grapefruit on a small vase, and then removed the vase after painting the grapefruit in order to paint the background behind it.

Looking close, you can see my reflection on the front of the viola.

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Red White and Blue

Red White and Blue

12″ x 16″ oil on canvas board.

Alizarin Crimson, Titanium White and Ultramarine Blue would be a more accurate name for this painting. These are paper models of polyhedra that I made, and the little bird is white plaster (I bought it at a craft store.)

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Flutes on Paisley

Flutes on Paisley

11″ x 14″ oil on box canvas.

I used a piece of leftover fabric from some curtains my wife made. It’s a great pattern, and very interesting to look at.

I took the fabric outside with some of my flutes, and took about a dozen photos, brought everything inside, and messed around with the composition in Photoshop in preparation for painting this picture.

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Into the Frying Pan

Into the Frying Pan

I had nearly finished this still life of my tenor banjo and one of my mandolins when I realized that the picture was kind of lifeless.

So I went to the internet to get the image of bream (which is a common fish here in North Georgia) to paint on top to liven things up a little.

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Lutes

Lutes

This is an oil on canvas measuring just 9″ x 12.”

The instruments I painted are all members of the lute family.

They are, from left to right, the Tamburitza, the Oud, and the Mandolin. This mandolin is my favorite instrument to play, by the way. I’ve heard this type called a “Tater-Bug” mandolin because of the way it looks. It has a very sweet sound.

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Horn with Geckos

Horn with Geckos

12″ x 16″ oil on stretched canvas.

I painted the horn from life, and made up the gecko pattern.

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Flowers with Small Tambourine

Flowers with Small Tambourine

About 18″x24″ – Oil on canvas.

Painted from life.

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Still Life with Frames

Still Life with Frames

About 24″x36″ – Oil on canvas.

Also painted from life, years ago. Looking back on this, I think there are some serious compositional flaws here, but the textures and surfaces are pretty good.

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Mandolin and Guitar

Mandolin and Guitar

This is a still life of two of my favorite instruments: my bowl-back mandolin and classical guitar.

I emptied the upper bookshelves for compositional reasons. My perspective is a little off I think, but I’m generally pleased with how this painting came out.

18″ x 24″ – Oil on canvas

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Shell in a Brass Bowl

Shell in a Brass Bowl

 

As an experiment, I set up an empty picture frame on a music stand, so that I could look down and through it and paint what I see.

12″ x 16″ oil on canvas board.

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4 responses to “Still Life Painting

  1. Buddy, we’d like to use a black and white version of your mandolin-guitar painting on a concert program for the Classical Mandolin Society of America’s convention being held in Austin, Texas. Could we get your permission? We would attribute it in the program, etc.

  2. Hi Buddy, I heard from a little bird you used to have an amazing painted vehicle…Those of us in a group on Facebook, “Peace”, have a post up about painting their vehicle and the bird said she has a friend and I said I would love to see…Hence the arrival to this amazing sight… Thanks for sharing this! PS… Please let me know about any photos of your vehicle… Peace, Ken

    • It was a long time ago. My wife & I had a Geo Metro that we painted a paisley pattern, all over in 14 different colors.

      Unfortunately, we have no photos of it. They were all lost.

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