Orange with Eucalyptus Leaves

I don’t know if this painting is an improvement over my first still life orange  or not, but it was a good painting experience for me. Definitely it’s a bit fancier than my first still life orange, so, what do you think?

Orange with Eucalyptus Leaves (2)
Orange with Eucalyptus Leaves

This painting came about as a result of an email/newsletter offer I came across while browsing. The site — Art Life with Kelli — offers five free videos as an introduction to the various painting courses available. I chose to watch Painting Light and Shadow Shapes on an Orange since I’ve had some experience with oranges — and apples — and felt that this painting would be within my skill level.

If you follow the link and watch the video, you’ll notice at once that the background color in my painting is nothing like hers. Yes, I had a few problems color-mixing with my oils, but this painting was about lights and shadows, about creating a spherical form for the orange, so I didn’t concern myself too much with the background. Certainly it would have been more dramatic had I used a complementary blue as I did with my first oil-painted orange.

Orange on Blue (2)
My first attempt at painting an orange in oil

I think in my second painting, I did improve in a number of areas.

  • My “Orange with Eucalyptus Leaves” is grounded on a table. It’s not simply floating in space as my first one was.
  • Overall, I think my lights and shadows are definitely better on my second painting. The orange does look round, don’t you think?
  • While I wasn’t happy with the size and shape of the cast shadow, at least it’s there and is recognizable for what it’s supposed to be.
  • My second painting feels more complete with the addition of the eucalyptus leaves. They were fun to paint.

All in all, it’s been a good morning in the studio. I’ve moved my easel a bit, and we’re working on ways to correct the lighting problems. In recent days I’ve gone back to a few of the oil paintings I have in progress, and it’s interesting to see how much more comfortable I am with oils than with watercolors. Working with my oils is very soothing and relaxing compared with the uncertainties I feel with watercolor.

I did enjoy Kelli Folsom’s video, and I’m interested in the courses she has to offer. Occasionally we come across a teacher we seem to somehow connect with. That’s how I felt while watching Kelli’s demonstration. I liked her approach, her methods, her way of explaining what she was doing and why.

I’ve signed up for her mailing list, and I will most likely take some of her online classes or purchase her books/CDs.

This post, however, wasn’t meant to be an advertisement or promotion for her site, but more a celebration of what was — for me — a successful painting. It’s always nice when we can look at art we’ve created and see improvement taking place. I think I’ve definitely made progress in the last three months — at least with simple oranges.








    1. Thanks. I think I’m starting to like still life painting a little more. I’m even thinking of having my husband put in a little shelf just for still life arrangements while he’s painting and re-doing the studio. I loved mixing the color and painting those eucalyptus leaves!


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