My husband has a tendency to forget his lunch. Sometimes he forgets to eat it, and sometimes he forgets to take it.
This time, when I spotted his lunch container sitting forlornly on the bench (who knew Tupperware has feelings?), I decided to put it to better use than dividing it up between peckish chickens and ravenous sons.
And what’s better than using a lunch for feeding fowls and the foul? Painting it of course.
When I opened it up, I could see why my husband had forgotten it. One lone peanut butter sandwich wrapped untidily in wax paper, with a floury apple for company. If this lunch was memorable, it was for all the wrong reasons.
Initially, I thought I could just paint the wax paper – to give me some practice with crinkles and creases. But that sandwich had been through enough, without me abandoning it completely.
Besides, the colour palette was limited enough already – the bread would add some warmer tones to the selection, and hopefully help to make sense of the random shapes and shadows of the wax paper.
The underpainting was always going to be a lesson in concentration. I suspected it would look a bit confusing to the casual onlooker, but by the end of it, the casual onlooker and I were coming at things from virtually the same angle.
I could see the final painting in my mind’s eye, but it took about two days of procrastination before I worked up the energy to just finish it.
After mixing up a cool, inky black for the background, and then a warmer set of greys for the paper, I got stuck into painting with the sort of gusto that my husband should probably have paid to that sandwich in the first place.
Following these lengthy monochrome moments, it was a good feeling to mix up some ochre and yellows for the bread.
Reviewing the final results, I have mixed feelings: I like that there is a less precise, more painterly aspect to my brushwork, but I think the wax paper in the foreground could have some warmer tones introduced to the greys to bring them forward more…
I also wonder about the values (lights and darks) – especially where that sandwich is concerned (I told you it was under-valued). Perhaps it could be darker, to stand out from the paper some more. (Any thoughts, anyone?)
There is one thing that I am absolutely certain of though: Having spent four and-a-half days out in the open, this sandwich is better suited to my chickens’ tastes than my sons’.
Welcome along to my art experiment – thanks for taking a look. I’d really welcome your feedback, if you wish to leave a comment. If you’d like to receive new posts direct to your inbox, hit the Follow button in the side menu.