I've spent two more sessions on my small still life painting. This detail shows the second opaque layer on one wing of the wax paper. I'll do at least one more layer to refine it - that's 4 passes including the underpainting.
My goal is to capture that "vibration" feeling, that makes the viewer feel like they are really seeing my subject (meaning *I* have truly seen and recorded my subject). Not quite there yet.
I'm finding working smaller is not at all faster than working large - people lean in closer to a small painting, so I think the "vibration" feeling will require an even higher level of finish.
As usual, I'm not painting up to the lightest lights yet, I've found it works best to nearly finish the whole thing and go in at the very end with pure white highlights.
As I think most painters will relate, there is always the temptation to pop in the highlights early on. But I find it skews my perception of the value range, and I end up shifting everything too light if I don't intentionally stay a few steps darker than the highlights for most the painting process.
Have you ever had that feeling that you wish there was a brighter tube of paint than white? When you are sure there is only pure, uncontaminated white paint on your brush, but it doesn't look like a highlight when you put it on the canvas? You wash your brush thoroughly and try again, and it's still doesn't "pop"? I hate that, it's the sign of a painting that has lost its value range. May as well wipe down and start over!
Anyway, I'm hoping to finish this one soon, there's a nice row of still lifes lined up on my shelf ready to be painted...
UPDATE: I got a question about what my painting medium is, here are the recipes I use:
2 parts refined linseed oil
1 part rectified turpentine
1 part refined linseed oil
1 part stand oil