Chinese cup – Japanese persimmons

“Chinese-Japanese” 5 x 7 oil on canvasboard

I had a square cornered Chinese demitasse cup and some Japanese persimmons – and thought they looked good together in a primary color sort of way. It seemed like a good get together for a still life. and the colors are even more vivid in person. Somehow they never look as striking on a monitor as they do in real life. If you want to see how much of a difference vivid color makes, take your little finger and cover that small stroke of bright red. The whole painting changes, doesn’t it? That one small area, the size of a fingertip, really has a big effect. Did you try it?

Speaking of which, I had a very good time this morning going around to garage sales and picking up some props for future still life setups – silver plated vessels – colorful ceramics – and I really don’t know where I’m going to stow them – but they sure are fun to look at and to arrange into interesting combinations.


  1. Casey
    August 5, 2007

    Beautiful, Karen. Il ove the colors.

  2. Annie
    August 5, 2007

    I tried it, Karen. Take out that red and the picture goes suddenly flat as well as dull — the red also gives it a dimension? Being new to all this, I get such surprises when you give these demonstrations

  3. Tami
    August 5, 2007

    This JUST POPS! I love the bright colors and the way you’ve handled the lighting in this! BEAUTIFUL!!!

  4. juj
    August 5, 2007

    I love the way your background echos the rythym of the pattern in the cup and the fruit. Just lovely.

  5. Karen
    August 5, 2007

    Thank you, all.

    Annie, you are so right – warm colors, in general, advance. So that bright spot of red adds to the 3D feeling, I think. When you remove it, part of that volume disappears. If the red spot had been a lot larger it would have changed the effect also.

  6. wendy
    August 6, 2007

    Colour modulation – yes about warm and cool colours but one art lecturer used to drive me mad with his emphasis on it for EVERY single oil painting. But being aware of this is necessary. I am always in such a bloomin’ hurry that I don’t think about much and just splosh on ahead, rain or shine! The idea of deliberately seeking out objects at garage sales is such a good idea. Tomorrow I will pick up a few books and have a go at painting over the printed page. I will be sorting donated books to send overseas to South Pacific schools and there are always many unsuitable books. If I don’t rescue some, they go to the tip! Some may even be good to make collages.

  7. Diane
    August 12, 2007

    My last comment of the day—I tried it, and it did take away from the rest—but I do love the blues and their many subtleties.

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