I fell in love with the wine bottle still life paintings of Erling Steen. So clean, so balanced, so boiled down to the essence. I decided to use one of his simple setups and see if I could copy it. The answer is, haha, no way! The magic evaded me–and I quickly found that I could not duplicate his lighting setup. Looks like natural light to me, but how can it be so strong? So I had to use a lamp, which changed things, and I moved awkwardly in between painting what I saw in the actual setup and painting how I saw it in his painting. Still I have no doubt it was a good exercise. In fact, I loved the balance of the setup so much that I did two separate underpaintings, so tomorrow I can take another whack at the color layer and see if I learned anything from the first time around.
Oh no! I gave the above painting to my son’s significant other as a gift, and then worked up this one from the same set up. I like it with the warm background so much better! I asked her if I could have the painting back to change the background and she said yes.