Painting simple objects is a great way to practice painting alla prima at home. I like creating a small setup, not more than one or two objects, lit by a table lamp.
Check out a sample setup and my process in this video:
I like using Geneva Fine Arts artist grade paint in my home studio since these paints are pre-mized with a slow drying medium and hence they stay wet for a long period of time, which means that I can just leave my pallette up at the end of the day, and don't need to remix paints everytime I start painting.
In this painting, I'm painting a pair of bananas. Yellow is a tricky color to paint since it contains elements of both red and green in dark areas. I also needed to make are that the banana in the foreground remains in focus. For this reason, I made sure that highlights were stronger on the banana in the front, as compared to the one in back. I also needed to make sure that edges were sharper on the banana in the front. Both these techniques help provide a visual cue that the banana in the front is closer to us.
Backgrounds are another important consideration in any painting. They can really make or break a painting. I usually use complementary colors for bakground, but sometimes I use the secondary colors from primary subject. For this painting, I chose to use red and green for background colors, and made sure to add enough variation so that the bananas are lighter than the background in some areas, and darker than the background in some other areas. This adds an element of interest to the painting and prevents it from being flat or sticker like.
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