"Branching Out" Tomato Painting by John Morfis

Branching Out (tomato painting)

"Branching Out" Tomato Painting by John Morfis

I enjoyed the first painting of tomatoes so much I decided to paint another only this time with a completely different number of tomatoes.   I also decide to use the torn stem of the tomato cluster as a dominant leading line within the composition.

Torn from the main plant’s branch, the stem containing the smaller tomatoes where not fully ripe, especially the ones farthest away from the stem. Towards the end of this painting the green tomatoes started to ripen up. It’s fun to observe things ripen slowly and there’s no better way to do it then to spend time drawing or painting nature.

I love that about art.

The artistic process allows you to observe and to have a very intimate moment with your subject matter… even if they’re only a bunch of tomatoes. I often find that my memories are much richer when I’ve drawn or painted something rather than just snapping a photograph. Photographs are nice but there rarely exists the same level of emotional commitment.

So I did get to witness some of the tomatoes turn from green to yellow and then orange, red-orange and ultimately red. Yep, nature flows right around our lovely color wheel! Even though a couple of the tomatoes did change color I had some color studies to help me paint the composition as if they never did change.  I purposefully got all of the major work done in the first two days while the tomatoes were fresh and unchanged in color.

I decided to keep the environment around the subject matter as a nondescript as possible. I really just wanted the focus to be on the tomatoes and I didn’t want this painting to become a traditional looking still life. You know the type?- With the knife and fully painted background. Although the background is simple there still is a subtle gradation leading from the top left corner. I also capitalized on some brush strokes to add some visual interest to the overall background.  This is something you’ll never get to appreciate when looking at images online.  -sorry folks!

As my second tomato painting I am getting slightly more comfortable painting them.

This is actually the recommendation I have for all beginner artists.  No not become a tomato artist! …  Try painting (or drawing) numerous works within a tight range of genre. That way you get comfortable with the subject matter and can pursue its subtle but important nuances further into detail. This type of exploration is what really excels your skills as an artist. Bouncing around from subject to subject will surely keep you amused but you’ll be missing out on the deep knowledge required to truly become an exceptional artist.

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