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 "Clamming For Chowder".

Campbell's 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 lid...

...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 perspective.

This clammer from Pismo Beach will be my human element in the painting.

I've photographed myself to give me a little more information about the cast shadows.

I've 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 clammer.

After 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.

Here's a close-up.

I'm guessing at the hue and value of the countertop, making it a rich orangish brown.

Next 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.

The 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 of paint.

I've rendered the scene outside the window, showing the clamming activity along the beach.

The bucket on the soup lid is now in place. Notice the way the sunlight glows through the back of the bucket.

The 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.

I've changed the hue and lightened the countertop.

The exterior scene has been painted, with the atmosphere being 'blued up'.

The green of the back wall is finished.

The 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.

Except for the top rim of the can, the label is finished.

I've 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.

The switchplate is finished. I'll go to work on the man in the can to finish up the painting...

There you have it! "Clamming For Chowder".