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Creating a Better Tomorrow...I mean tomato!

The other day I posted on my "study" of tomatoes with my first stab at the fruit. With frustration, I wasn't happy with the end product. So in keeping with my challenge I attacked the fruit again a little differently. I started from the highlights (inside) and worked my way to the darker colors (outside). My 'take 2' appears better than my first attempt, but I felt like I was just not achieving my correct end product. What I did not mention in my previous post was that I used a photo and did not have a still life of tomatoes in front of me like I did in previous paintings. I think this was my main issue as a photo loses so much value and color when taken. For future notes, I need to have the tangible fruit in front of me as my eye is a better decision maker in value and color of an object. So why am I not as super excited about this attempt? Because I missed a very important step in composition...and it didn't hit me until I took my last brush stroke...where is my light source coming from? AHH! Not having the fruit in front of me I had a hard time knowing where my "true" light source was coming from. In this photo, the light is coming from up above. So not terribly wrong...

Summer Tomatoes (take 2) - 9 x 12 in, oil on canvas

I read in a book that most artist who do studies mention that there is again/value in taking a pure black & white photo of a painting that is completed. If you remove all pure color you can focus on how you are controlling your values. Values are an important aspect to master (and consider) in painting realistic objects as it is only 2D. Value gives a composition the feeling of a 3D object that presents the viewer something to play with when looking at your painting. To capture a good subject, a painting should have at a minimum of 3 values (light, medium, and dark). This will allow for a more realistic version of your subject on a 2D canvas. You can see from looking at the bottom picture I have three values. The light values represent the highlights of light hitting the fruit, then as we move toward the bottom of the tomato you get the darkest value creating a shadow.

Tomato study (take 2) tonal picture to study value.

Enjoy, going to take the next couple of nights off. I feel like painting a landscape next.

Stay tuned.

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