It is almost summer and a great time for visiting your local market to get some interesting fruit and vegetables to paint. It is always advisable to use a Alla Prima technique when painting objects such a fruit, veggies and flowers, as their life-span is short. Depending on the technique and mediums used, sometimes you have to learn to improvise when painting a still-life.
While painting “Temperature” I decided in advance to build up the surface quality of the fruit over a period of time to achieve the waxy and fleshy texture of the mangoes. I used stand oil to get the viscosity of the paint just right. Stand oil takes longer to dry than linseed oil, but gives a wonderful glass like sheen to the paint while adding to a thicker look. Using a bit of cold wax medium in selective areas added to the difference of surface from mat to sheen, which on close inspection these mangoes have.
The tablecloth was painted in a radically different way, more impressionistic, dry and dense. This added to the optical illusion of the sheen on the mangoes and wooden plate. When replacing objects because they change color and start to decay, try not to “chase” the shape. Keep the initial shape and only adjust the color, tones and surface appearance.
The people at the market must have thought that I was nuts and really hungry because I had to look at each mango carefully to try and get a similar replacement every other day but I sure had some great mango smoothies while painting this still life.