You’re So Vain | 5” x 7” | Oil on Canvas Board
This small piece is brought to you by caffeine and Carly Simon. I thought painting clouds in my coffee would be a little more straightforward, but it presented some tricky bits that will need to be tackled again in future still life. The resulting composition of this first effort is good, but I’m missing something on the technique and it ended up losing some of the cloudy effect.
This is an ideal composition for practicing the technique of blending wet-on-wet oil paint. While I’m very familiar with the technique, it’s part of the standard tool kit for painting in oils regardless of one’s skill level, I hadn’t really considered the fact that this composition was going to be dominated by wet-on-wet. It became abundantly clear that was to be the challenge once I got started, the realization making me chuckle aloud in the studio… idiot!
Next time I’ll use a smooth surface (board) instead of a canvas, which should make for easier blending. I’ll also make more time to pre-mix a range of coffee browns to give the “cloudy” effect a more realistic look.
This piece was also inspired by all the neighborhood coffee shops around the country and the world, all of which have their own unique vibe and appreciation for a cup well poured. Ignoring the occasional douchey independent shop filled with anti-social Wifi leeches, there’s a lot of great coffee being brewed in these shops.
My neighborhood favorite is Trianon, which has been a caffeinated cornerstone of this area since the 80s. They have dozens of coffees from around the globe and the owner, or any of his friendly staff, will take the time to walk you through the nuances of each farmer’s crop and what makes them unique. When was the last time that “barista” from Starbucks took the time to walk away from the register and come chat with you about the 20 rotating coffee beans on the wall… never!
Thank you Trianon!
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