Keyed up, the lost #44

Alright, so I can't count.  #44 never existed. . . not on this blog anyway.  And here I was, ready to do my #50 benchmark!  So my internal mom voice is declaring, "There shall be no benchmarking until every other number has been completed!"  I feel like a kid being sent to my room . . . wait a minute! . . . I am being sent to my room - my painting room.

I painted this one in a higher key.  It took a little bit to get the still life set up with enough shadow, but also with enough interesting space in the higher values.

I sketched it out first, and then went right in with color - no grisaille underpainting!  I was careful to match the values before I put them down though.  I also started with the biggest brush I had and just blocked in average value and color temperature for the background, refining it with smaller brushes after the fact.  For example, the upper right quarter of the canvas was one value and the upper left another.  The same was for the lower right quarter being cooler while the lower left quarter was warmer.  With the lemons, I tried very hard to make them not the same, but am unsure if I succeeded.  While I thought the background would be hardest, the lemons were, simply for trying to stay painterly and still have them pull forward, yet separate from each other.  For the cup, after I blocked in the values, and tripled checked my perspective, I went over it with a really soft brush and smoothed it out.  I tried to keep it from being too tight however.  With all the looser strokes I felt quite painterly.

I'm allowed out of my room now and the next one will be the #50 benchmark with no more delay.