Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Painting 'Fond Memories'

After a couple months of indulging in wonderfully, delicious foods through the holidays (I had a bucket list on paper you know), after all my wishes for sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie (any kind of pie really), Toll House cookies, pancakes, cheeseburgers and fries .... (I'm drooling as I type) .... I am back in, what I call 'Calorie Prison'.  So now I live vicariously through Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and imagine what it all tastes like.  So I thought I'd vicariously relive cheesecake through oil paints.

Above is my original photo blown up on my Mac screen.

After a little editing, cropped and sized to my panel dimensions.

No guidelines necessary, I do a light sketch with paint.

Starting with the cherry on top and moving down.

This is the kind of subject that oils are meant for.
Swervy, loose painting.

Just allow that red cherry juice to bleed into the top - enjoy the oils.
I used a flat brush about 1/2" wide for the whole painting.

Painting cheesecake is no different than painting a house.
It's merely a form.  Sides are lit or shaded.

At first, the imperfections of the front tip of the slice made me think
to clean it up, but real life is an imperfect slice of cheesecake.
So I went with it.

I even thought to nix the napkin (I don't know what that's called)
 under the slice, a little daunted by how I would paint it - but I tried it.  
I just painted a solid area of color and
added some highlights and shadow and ended up liking it.

Same way I tackled the shadow beneath.  A solid tone then swirled in
some colors and adjusted the values of the napkin.

Just like the grass around the house, I worked on the plate surrounding the slice,
added the cherry on the left - trying not to nit-pick with details because
it wouldn't be right to tighten up in one spot and not the rest.
Consistency is good.

I liked the drama of the dark background so I went with a black-red.

And.... done.


  1. Love it! Good enough to eat.

    "It wouldn't be right to tighten up in one spot and not the rest.
    Consistency is good."
    So true! Thanks for the motivation today.

  2. WOW, I'm really loving this. These two new posts are so helpful. Thank you, Karin!

  3. Thanks for sharing the process, that's always helpful. Your paintings are gorgeous, rich and colorful. Love them!

  4. I hate Calorie Prison! Unfortunately, it's home much of the time. :(

    Love your painting and the explanation with it. Love your new blog!

  5. I'm delighted to be able to watch over your shoulder as your painting developes - thank you for sharing.

    Cheesecake look delicious.

  6. seeing the progression of these paintings.

  7. I love the step by step. And you don't overdo the explanatory details. Just enough. Thanks.

  8. Great stuff, Karin. Thanks for sharing your process....very inspiring!

  9. This was a great idea to start this blog. It was interesting to see how you approach this subject in such loose, buttery strokes and get it right the first time!

  10. Great stuff Karin, thanks! Your observation of the background was interesting; believe it or not one of my biggest problems is figuring out the color and value behind my still life. Do I used the same main colors of my subject, but very muted and greyed? Should I use a muted complementary color to make the still life stand out?
    How do you approach backgrounds in general? Hope that's an interesting question for your Q&A.

  11. This is great! Thank you so much for sharing your process. I have always wanted to watch you paint, and now I (almost) can.
    You are a very generous soul!

  12. My mouth is watering! Thanks for the step by step. I know they are a lot of work for your, but boy, they really are great to see what you paint at each step and then your added comments about your thoughts and decisions really add a lot of info about the process.

  13. Karin, thanks for your generosity with this new blog. I absolutely love seeing process so each post is such a treat. Just ordered your book ATL to NYC. Strong, beautiful work!

  14. And just think, you burned off some calories by painting it!

  15. Oooh good girl. I seriously love your food paintings. Years ago, probably 4, when I first found your art on the web, I fell in love with a zoomed in strawberry piece. You've gotten even better. Love the black red. Great painting!