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Cherry Green

Cherry Green

Over the past three years, I’ve done so many still life paintings of cherries and glass that naming them can be a problem. This one, however, was always going to be “Cherry Green”, because of the bright green background. There are even hints of green – reflections, really – on the upper surfaces of some of the cherries, and in the glass.

A rule of painting

I put the glass smack-dab in the middle. You’re not supposed to do that, it’s one of the rules of painting. The thinking is, if you place the dominant shape in the centre, the viewer‘s eyes go there and stay there. Consequently, the viewer fails to look round the rest of the painting.

Breaking the rule

I like to break a rule now and then. I broke it here, and to try to keep the viewer’s interest level up, I’ve done other things instead. For starters, I’ve centred the entire composition – so there’s nothing happening out on the edges for the viewer to look at, anyway. Next, the layout of the cherries outside the glass pulls the viewer’s eye clockwise around the glass, giving almost a sense of movement – at least, I hope it does. And I also have strong colour contrast going on, as red and green are opposites on the colour wheel.

How to paint cherries

If you’re interested in how I paint the cherries, I described the process in a blog post a while back. To see it, click here.

Unframed watercolour painting. Size 8.5 x 11.8 inches / 21.5 x 30 centimetres.

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