Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The "Keys" to a Still Life Painting: Daniel Keys Demo

Daniel Keys alla prima still life painting demo @ Gallery 1261
Happy May everyone! My artist demos are popular posts, so I hope you’ll enjoy these photos from the Daniel J. Keys alla prima still life oil painting demo a few weekends ago. Daniel was visiting Denver as one of the featured artists  at Gallery 1261 this month.
Daniel Keys at work at Gallery 1261
Even those he’s relatively young Daniel’s a seasoned painter (who has studied with Richard Schmid) and popular workshop instructor who work I’ve admired for years. I particularly enjoy his gorgeous  floral paintings (such as this one) and was really looking forward to seeing him paint in person.
Daniel Keys Still Life Oil Painting (those roses are amazing.)
For those of you who enjoy still life painting you probably know that arranging your still life items for a successful painting can be half the battle.  When I asked Daniel about this he said he may take an entire day back in his studio to arrange his objects.

I'm always interested to see how other painters start a painting As you can see, Daniel begins with a quick tonal wash.  After a fairly quick sketch in of the subject he made note of his darkest darks and lightest lights which provides a helpful value range for the painting. FYI, here’s a link to his palette colors and favorite materials.
Daniel Keys Palette (he noted that he usually paints on gray rather than white)

Did notice that Daniel changed the green lid of the jar to a more “harmonious” gold? I love seeing artistic license at work! Daniel also offers several DVDs that take you step by step through his still life process. And here’s a very interesting article about his time management tips and studio habits

P.S. Looking for more still life painting ideas and inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board “Not so Still Life.

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