Painting method in stages

I progress the painting after initial design and blocking in,finishing the brown bottle and concentrating on shapes and colours.

Detailing begins on the delft jug and I add the glass tumbler. I also add more detail to the brown bottle.

Fine detailing continues, completing the delft jug and the glass.

After darkening the background I can now start adding the cherries before they begin to ripen too much. The colour red usually takes longer to dry so delaying the time I can refine the cherries with shadows and highlights.

After a drying period, I can now carry out more refining and detailing on the cherries and finish the lid of the jug.

The cherries now complete. I concentrate on finishing all the items on the table and tablecloth. Not too much to do now

Final stage, varnished and framed. After a further drying period, I can now apply a light varnish to protect the surface from dust and to enrich the colours.

Artist's note:

My technique is based on the Old Masters tried and tested formula. Basically it entails building up in stages with thin paint at the start and with thicker paint often glazed to give it depth and lustre in the final stage. It is essential for each stage to be fully dry before attempting the next one. This is one of the reasons why this type of method takes longer. However, it is wise to limit the amount of oil used in the medium due to long term cracking. 

The ideal method is 'lean to fat', starting thin and adding a little oil as the painting progresses. I use a little drop of varnish to stop the colours 'sinking in' and to speed up the drying process a little. Too much oil also slows the drying process, making it more difficult to progress the painting satisfactorily. There are ready made mediums on the market which I do use from time to time including my own particular favourite 'Liquin'. This is especially useful when painting the finer details as the paint dries quickly and with little or no 'sinking in'. I tend to use this medium when I am using fine small sable brushes for details such as strawberry pips etc. It is also useful for blending and glazing.

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