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How I Painted The Lemons

Last Step of The Lemons

I realized that there are several artwork pieces that I just haven’t included making of posts for; in fact there is quite a back log. The Lemons oil painting is one of those artworks that I never got around to writing about how I painted it. Not everyone likes to see how a painting is made, but I love writing these posts as a sort of self-reflection. I remember when I first started learning, I would often browse the blogs of artists I admire to learn how they painted.

Step 1

I decided to start with the details for this painting. Many artists start with backgrounds, but since I am still fairly new at oils I wanted to focus on building skills. I also realized that if I painted the entirety of the background I would need to wait for it to dry so as to not smudge or mix paint into the edges of the lemons.

First Step of The Lemons
First Step of The Lemons

Rather than using black, I mixed red into the greens to help dull them and darken for the shadows.

Step 2

Second Step of The Lemons
Second Step of The Lemons

I started painting the lemons. Whilst the photo isn’t that great, you can still see that this base layer didn’t use just a solid yellow; there are mixtures of green, orange, and neutral grey-yellows.

Step 3

Once the base layers are down, I started to focus on the tonal values a bit more. I have since learnt that its better to build your darks in earlier steps of oil paintings. This was one of my first times ever putting oil to canvas.

Third Step of The Lemons
Third Step of The Lemons

Step 4

Finally I painted the background. I didn’t want anything distracting, so I opted for a neutral purple color. The purple, being a complimentary color to yellow, will help the lemons pop.

Last Step of The Lemons
Last Step of The Lemons

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