May 2017: Painting stages of a Delft blue plate

The Delft blue plate: the dead-colouring painting stage

I’m working on a new commission: a painting to go with the Silverware with plums painting the client has bought. The painting features a Delft blue plate and several types of fruit scattered on a relatively undefined surface. I break up the painting process in different stages: after sketching the set-up, I first work on the tonal aspects and create a ‘map’ ready for the colour stage. I’ll need several painting sessions to get the light right and provide enough detail. The plate also needs to be anchored to its space: I want it to lean against the wall. The light needs to softly touch the plate and the cracks and chips need to pick up the light – I love this play with hard and soft edges, creating the illusion of soft light and ultimately the expression of a certain atmosphere and calm.

Delft blue plate

The dead-colouring stage of the Delft blue plate (detail of the still life painting)