Fruit Still Life in Oils Part 5 – Adding the Final Touches

In this final lesson we will be adjusting edges to make the subject more prominent and refining the textures we added in the previous session.

  • We will begin this final session by taking a look at any overlapping forms and adjusting the relative hardness of the edges.
  • A straightforward example of this is the line in the background that runs behind the lemon – because the lemon is well forward of this line we can make the line behind softer so that the lemon feels sharper and closer to us (as it is in focus).
  • I did this by mixing up matching dark and light greys that I laid over the background, then used a dry brush to blend these tones together – resulting in a blurry edge.
  • I then repeated the same process for the little jutting ends of lemon that sit slightly behind the main body of the lemon.
  • I also added another darker glaze over some parts of the lemon in shadow to make it roll a bit more softly into the dark shadow below.
  • Finally, I added some bits of textured shadow up into the halftone texture above the shadow edge, and then blended this shadow colour with a general yellow halftone colour so that the texture feels a bit more soft and bumpy (rather than patchy).
  • That’s it – the painting is finished, it just needs some time to dry and then it will be ready to frame!
Course Materials:
  • Small Canvas (stretched or board)
  • Easel
  • Palette
  • Palette Cups
  • Oil Paints
    • Titanium White
    • Cadmium Yellow (or equivalent bright yellow)
    • Burnt Umber
    • Raw Umber
    • Prussian Blue
    • Ivory Black
  • Various brushes (ideally a range of smaller and larger brushes, but whatever you have lying around will be fine)
  • Odourless mineral spirits
  • Linseed oil
  • Tape
  • Paper towel or rag for cleaning up

Fruit Still Life in Oils Part 4 – Adding Texture

In this lesson we will be adding some nice texture to the lemon using smaller brushes.

  1. Begin by applying small highlights in pure white using a small pointed brush.
  2. This will give you a reference point for the lightest tones – making it easier to judge the values of the darker halftone textures.
  1. Once you’ve added the white highlights, gradually mix darker yellows while applying a lot of small brush-strokes.
  2. The textures should get gradually darker as they go towards the shadow edge (just like the last part).
  1. Finally, add some lighter texture into the shadow and add some shadow tone into the dark halftones above the shadow edge.
  2. This will make the shadow edge the most contrasty and textured part.
  3. Leave to dry before we make a final pass over the piece to pull everything together.
Course Materials:
  • Small Canvas (stretched or board)
  • Easel
  • Palette
  • Palette Cups
  • Oil Paints
    • Titanium White
    • Cadmium Yellow (or equivalent bright yellow)
    • Burnt Umber
    • Raw Umber
    • Prussian Blue
    • Ivory Black
  • Various brushes (ideally a range of smaller and larger brushes, but whatever you have lying around will be fine)
  • Odourless mineral spirits
  • Linseed oil
  • Tape
  • Paper towel or rag for cleaning up

Fruit Still Life in Oils Part 3 – Making the Painting Pop Off the Canvas

Making the Painting Pop Off the Canvas:

In this lesson we will be working over the basic lay-in that we established in the second part. Using the same colour mixtures we will start to make the painting more 3D.

  • You will need to spread a very thin layer of your medium all over the painting to resaturate and darken all the colours (this is important whenever you start working on a dry oil painting).
  • Then begin by working on the background around the fruit, making any adjustments to the value if necessary (I darkened mine) and make the contour around the fruit more detailed.
  • Once you’ve finished the background, move onto the shadow of the fruit.
  • You can use the same colour mixtures as the previous session so it should be easier to get the colours right.
  • It is best to use a reasonable amount of medium in the darker tones so that they stay quite thin.
  • As well as adding detail inside the shadow, you should also add detail to the edge of the shadow – which will begin to suggest the form and texture of the fruit in light.
  • Finally make any necessary changes to the lighter parts of the fruit (you will probably need to paint some slightly brighter, more saturated colours than last week.
  • Once the light tones are added, use mid tones to blend the shadows into the lights more softly.
  • This final stage will make the painting pop off the canvas in a 3D way.
Course Materials:
  • Small Canvas (stretched or board)
  • Easel
  • Palette
  • Palette Cups
  • Oil Paints
    • Titanium White
    • Cadmium Yellow (or equivalent bright yellow)
    • Burnt Umber
    • Raw Umber
    • Prussian Blue
    • Ivory Black
  • Various brushes (ideally a range of smaller and larger brushes, but whatever you have lying around will be fine)
  • Odourless mineral spirits
  • Linseed oil
  • Tape
  • Paper towel or rag for cleaning up