My artistic approach is a mixture of both observation and imagination.
I am most inspired by dramatic light, the changing of seasons, the stories of everyday people and the magic that can be found in everything if you look hard enough. I hope my paintings blur boundaries between art and life, imagination and reality. They are an indulgence in creativity, in slightly bending the real to become something more.
I tend to anthropomorphize objects and give them personality and see them as such in my still lifes. A perfume bottle becomes an actor, set to entice the audience with graceful lines and seductive shifts in color. My still life paintings are the stage where the actors have recurring roles and different scenes. You see the glass objects that I paint. I see a whirling cosmos of colors, constellations and characters.
Paul Jackson's Palette is made up of Seventeen DANIEL SMITH 15ml Watercolors: Lemon Yellow, Isoindoline Yellow, Cadmium Orange Hue, Perinone Orange, Pyrrol Orange, Quinacridone Sienna, Mayan Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Opera Pink, Carbazole Violet, Cobalt Blue Violet, Indigo, French Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue (GS), Manganese Blue Hue, Phthalo Turquoise and Phthalo Green (YS).
1. Light Blocking-in Layer
After completing a quick line drawing of my composition, I began painting the lightest, most delicate areas, blocking in the local color across several pieces of glass. I allowed it to dry, then masked highlights to resist paint in the next layers. I painted a gradation of Cadmium Red in the yellow center vase, showing the red square vase behind. I painted the small perfume bottle wet-in-wet with tiny bits of many colors: Opera, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Orange Hue, Manganese Blue Hue, Carbazole Violet and French Ultramarine. The dull background color was created by mixing all of these colors together.
2. Bold Yellows
I strengthened the color in the yellow vases by layering Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Orange Hue gradations. I also layered over the bright red center of the far right vase with Permanent Alizarin Crimson.
3. Pushing the Reds
Red always appears brighter when layered over a bright yellow or orange. With Cadmium Red Hue and Permanent Alizarin Crimson, I layered over parts of the yellow and orange vases.
4. Layering and Detail
I masked more detail areas and begin making smaller marks and lines. With Carbazole Violet, I gradated down through the middle of the orange/blue vase right of center. The purple layered over yellow created interesting neutrals. I layered several other areas with Cadmium Orange Hue gradated to clear water.
5. Cool Complement
To balance all of the warm color and energy in the composition, I added cool blues to key areas of the glass. The French Ultramarine rectangular vase on the left required several layers to build the density of color. I used Indigo for the dark stripes. French Ultramarine and Manganese Blue Hue rounded out the cool bottom third of the center vase. I used Carbazole Violet to shadow the perfume bottle.
6. Background Layering
In this layer I repeated the background washes a little darker to push the values of the glass forward. I painted a unifying wash of Permanent Alizarin Crimson and Carbazole Violet over the red center of the righthand vase, and light washes of the same colors to the bottom of the vase on the left.
7. Building the Darks
Gradually darkening the pieces of glass, I was able to evaluate how much value each should have to create the proper depth. I used a medium wash of Indigo to darken the perfume bottle and another wash of French Ultramarine on the rectangular blue vase to the left.
Reinforcing the Darks
Pushing the darkest end of the value scale makes for a dramatic painting. I saved the darkest areas for last so their dense pigment didn’t disturb the delicate washes.