I purchased this 1950's switchplate cover a few
years ago, knowing that it would be the
inspiration for a new painting. The chef has a
smile on his face as he has just tasted his
latest masterpiece. He holds a spoonful of his
brew in his right hand, and with his left hand
gestures that the final formula is 'just right'.
Although Campbell's may not have chefs dressed in
uniform, posing in the kitchen, I've decided that
there was a special chef looking over this very
special can of clam chowder. The chef
will be positioned on the wall, looking into his
soup can, admiring a beachgoer who is
Clam Chowder soup no longer comes in the iconic
can that I grew up with, so I've concocted my own
special can. Since the newer can has a pop-top
...I'll use an image from one of my past
paintings to paint in the old style lid. I
reversed the image to get it close to the same
clammer from Pismo Beach will be my human element
in the painting.
photographed myself to give me a little more
information about the cast shadows.
also drawn a simple design of a clam to be used
in the background wallpaper.
This is all I am using for a prop setup. All
other objects used in the painting will have to
conform to the lighting in this photo, which was
based on the lighting in the photo of the
drawing all the objects on the linen canvas, I've
started the painting by filling in the color of
the wallpaper. I've used thalo green, combined
with ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and cadmium
yellow to arrive at the green on the wall.
The soup can
is now roughed in with its shoreline sand filled
to the brim.
guessing at the hue and value of the countertop,
making it a rich orangish brown.
comes the switchplate. I've altered the color
from the original plate which has a peachy pink
cast to it, to be more on the offwhite side.
clammer is painted in some simple strokes, with
the detail to come later. I made his sweatshirt
purple to add some color to the painting, but may
change it after the painting gets its first pass
rendered the scene outside the window, showing
the clamming activity along the beach.
bucket on the soup lid is now in place. Notice
the way the sunlight glows through the back of
canvas is completely covered with its first coat
of paint. I now make my mental list of
adjustments. It goes something like this:
Neutralize and lighten the countertop; darken the
overall value of the switchplate cover; find
another color for the clammer's sweatshirt; add
some blue to the overall hue of the sky, water
etc. outside the window.
changed the hue and lightened the countertop.
exterior scene has been painted, with the
atmosphere being 'blued up'.
green of the back wall is finished.
clam design is also painted in, darkening the
wall and the clams as they descend towards the
bottom of the wall. With the back wall completed,
I now have the final value which will tell me how
dark to paint the chef switchplate.
for the top rim of the can, the label is
finished the lid and the sand inside the can. I
warmed up the hue of the sand compared to the
initial color I roughed in.
switchplate is finished. I'll go to work on the
man in the can to finish up the painting...
you have it!