melanie florio


I started this painting around 10 at night when I had an itch to paint something small- instant gratification.  I usually set up flowers and prepare something a little more lively, but since it was 10:00 on a Sunday night, I just used what was in my house.  Not much food in the fridge, as usual, save for a few potatoes and some lemons, but the potatoes were calling me.  

The main lesson in this painting for me was - “paint smarter, not harder”…I think I have heard that before and I was reminded of it for this one.  I was feeling pretty organized and mapped out the value shapes before I started.  I always think of values as numbers, so a dark black would be 10.  Medium color would be 5.  White would be 1.  

Mapping out the values so literally was pretty helpful for me- sort of like paint by numbers- except I got to choose the numbers.  

To keep the colors unified, so that they all belonged together in one atmosphere, I actually mixed the background colors into just about every color mixture (even the pink and yellow potatoes).  


This is a little 8x10 oil painting.  

I started with a simple drawing in turpenoid and an earth tone, and once I had the drawing in place, I started painting the bigger darker shapes (the bottom of the glass, adn the red checkers in the foreground.   I worked my way up the canvas, and painted from dark to light, and general to specific.

 I made the top of the painting lighter to show some depth (really exaggerating atmospheric perspective).  In the top 4th quadrant of the painting, I painted the light color first and put the darker (but still light red) on top of that.  This is a good way to make sure that atmospheric perspective takes effect.  

The tablecloth was so much fun to paint!