Happy Hour – Shaken

It’s happy hour time again! Before moving forward, it’s time to reveal the name of the cocktail from the Happy Hour – Roosevelt post from a few weeks ago… the Sazerac! It’s a great drink and the next time you’re in New Orleans I highly recommend a visit to The Roosevelt for the original recipe.

This latest addition to the series should be much easier for you to figure out, although it wasn’t necessarily easier to paint. Happy Hour – Shaken is an iconic cocktail indeed and something that James Bond fans will recognize instantly, although 007 preferred a stirred version.

This cocktail is a top choice in my household – even the dogs like it! Well, they probably would love it, but they just get to have the ice cubes after the drink has been strained. Yes, it’s hilarious – they hear the shaker, come running to the bar, and proceed to sit (without a command mind you) until I’m done, at which point they each get a piece of ice. They are, without a doubt, very lovable booze hounds.

Back to the painting…

I’m very happy with the outcome and feel like the repeated efforts on this Happy Hour series is starting to show demonstrable improvements in the artwork. This was a challenge on 2 fronts. First, the ongoing challenge of glassware in a still life has been tricky to refine, but I finally figured out the right value scheme to make it work – the solution for me was simply being more aggressive with the darker values. Secondly, I lacked experience painting truly reflective metal in still life compositions. Again, a more concerted approach with the darker values made a difference, but more importantly was simply waving the wand of artistic patience and working through the various reflected elements.

A few additional observations and details about the composition:

  • Reference Photo: As you can tell the shaker is not exactly the same as what’s in the photo. I used a reference photo blending technique, using the real shaker as my primary source, but simplifying the object by looking at other photos and paintings on-line that were, quite frankly, better cocktail shakers.
  • Brush and Knife: The vast majority of the piece is done with a Flat #4 and Round #2 brush, but the olives are all knife work. They are the focal point of the composition, and as such I wanted them to have some more texture and a reflective quality of their own.
  • Size: This is more than twice the size of previous Happy Hour series pieces, 8″x10″ vs 5″x7″ boards. Usually when I go bigger, the work is harder technically, but this time it seemed easier. Like I said, progress.

I haven’t figured out what the next cocktail in the series will be, but I’m leaning towards something with a shaker. Cheers!

3 thoughts on “Happy Hour – Shaken

  1. Pingback: “ABUNDANCE” Group Show at Art for the People Gallery – Art Bern

    • Thanks! Glad you liked it. The shaker’s metallic look is a wide range but the blues are Ultramarine Blue + burnt sienna + Titanium White, ivory black + TW, or Payne’s Gray + TW. Also added varying amounts of an orange mix to the shaded sides.

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