Friday, December 26, 2008


I was curious to know whether you could still get an object to look colorful even with a colorful background. I think you can! 

While I was painting this last night, I kept thinking that it had to be the most colorful thing I've ever painted. It felt like painting a parrot. What a sunset is in a mango.

More art on my website:


Casey Klahn said...

Your SL's a re an education for me, Jala. Lovely, and I will be trying these things in my own studio.

Tell us a little about how you light your subjects, please.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I don't know if I think it looks 'colorful' - I initially thought (before I read the post) that it was maybe done all in an orangey-brown,as it had a 'tonal' look to it - with a little yellow to highlight. It is beautifully rendered, that's for sure. I think a little compliment or contrast would make it pop more - not that it isn't beautiful!

bonnieluria said...

Jala- I really like the way you get the surface textures of your subjects. This one really got the suede like properties of a mango's surface. My favorite fruit.

And the deft handling of a like colored background. So very nice.

Jala Pfaff said...

Casey - What a compliment, especially coming from you! I'm very flattered. Especially good timing hearing that, as lately I've been suffering a crisis of confidence to some extent. Perhaps it has to do with all the art magazines and art books I'm overdosing on here at my housesit. Like the more wonderful art I look at, the worse I feel I paint. Sounds can I maybe just convince myself that that's what's going on?
To answer your question about lighting subjects for still life: I just do things as simply as possible, meaning a ripped-apart cardboard box as a shadow box, with a spotlight shining on the subject. I would love to try painting in strictly north light someday, but I have never yet had such a location (we have skylights and windows in every direction), not even in art school, so I got used to doing my painting at night, where a single close spotlight on the subject would at least negate most of the other light sources/directions.

Jala Pfaff said...

Kelley -thanks so much for your nice comments today! The painting in real life shows a lot more different hues (reds, light green, purple, ultramarine, med.greens, etc.) on the mango than have showed up with the camera/computer, but you're right, the fact that the background and the subject are both colorful does in a way translate to having produced a tonalist painting. What an interesting thought!

Jala Pfaff said...

Bonnie - Thank you! How lovely to get these nice comments today of all days (see my response to Casey, above). :) It's interesting what you say about the texture of the mango painting...I had done quite a bit more on the middle/upper middle portion of the mango, and then decided it was just too much, and so I actually blended everything together that was there (blending--something I'm trained to absolutely fear and avoid), and came out with a nice silky uniform area there that was just right. :)