Sunday, April 19: Hickory Mertsching

Hickory realistic still lifes in oils would not generally lend themselves to a single afternoon’s work.  Hickory had given himself a headstart today by painting a solid green background and drawing his still-life subject using a shades of brown paint.  Hickory’s still life compositions often contain many items of contrasting shapes, colors, and textures.  He used a simpler subject today, but still chose an intriguing pairing of an old wooden crate with a retro toy. 
With his subject already drawn in, Hickory’s work today involved adding color to take his painting from lines and shading to a more realistic image.  Working with oils in a short period of time meant he had to work with thin layers and paint with a light touch to avoid having his colors blend together into “mud.”
To help with painting precise details, Hickory placed small boards at the top and bottom of his canvas and braced a thin strip of wood against the boards.  The wood stood off the canvas just enough to create a bridge to rest his hand on, allowing him to work close to the canvas with a steady hand without disturbing the wet paint.
Hickory was determined to finish his piece by the end of the afternoon.  With some advance work, planning his subject, and adapting his style to be a bit looser than he often paints, he completed a fun piece with a lot of style and charm!

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