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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Lawn Chair vs Light : Epic Battle

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

16 X 20 X 1.5" OIL ON WOOD PANEL

Vintage lawn chair oil painting by American artist Jenny Berry

I came up the driveway a couple of days ago to the above scene. This beautiful stream of light was trying to swallow a vintage lawn chair whole.

It was blinding when I took off my sunglasses because the entire scene was white, the chair, the driveway, the latticework, the light. I immediately thought: I've got to paint this because absolutely none of this is actually white. Not even the light.

I wanted to study what I could barely see outside in the glaring light but I suspected at the time, the chair was actually quite blue (cool blues where it overlaps the shade – I used Prussian for my cool blue) and warm where the sun hit the back of the chair (I used ultramarine for my warm blue).

All around the chair was a glow of warm orange toned shapes, I made it cooler on one side and pushed it warmer on the side where lattice and vines made some dappled light on the driveway. I didn't want that dappled light pattern to complicate the scene any more than it already was, so I played it down quite a bit. I also took some focus away from the bottom of the canvas by adding some darkness there and that helped the composition quite a bit, I think there were some black pots there that I edited out.

I mixed my own warm browns and orange tones from scarlet lake and yellow ochre. So this was a very limited palette exercise, Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, scarlet lake, yellow ochre and titanium white.

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