A new painting! "Picasso's Palette"

Barb Toland My Stuff

So this is all about a chair that lives in a plexiglass case in the Musée Picasso in Paris. It's not just any chair, it's the one Picasso used to hold various pots & containers of paint when he was working in his studio.

I was totally floored when I saw it, knowing it was actually THE palette Picasso used. It actually contains his brushes, pots & layers of paint - which I thought was pretty darn cool.

When I took the photos I used as reference for this painting, the chair like I said, was entombed in a simple plexiglass case. I thought it kinda looked a bit forlorn, with no function or job now - and completely out of its "zone of happy" when it gleefully accompanied the master in his studio.

So I decided to imagine what it might look like settled back in Picasso's studio. To do so, instead of the cold, plastic tomb - when doing my painting interpretation, I added a worn wallpaper background, an old hardwood floor, and a paint-splattered baseboard to make the "chair palette" appear more at home.

Here's a photo of the chair all lonesome in its case, and also my initial drawing...

  

I put a simple pattern of fleur-de-lis as the wallpaper on the wall behind the chair. And as you can see below, I also joyfully flung loads of splatters & splashes (which btw are a blast to do). Later on, when I add layers of the transparent watercolor paint over the splatters, they still show thru and lend more liveliness & spontaneity to the overall composition...

Here's some close ups of the splatters & the aged texture of the background on the wallpaper.

  

I love the brilliant blue paint on the chair itself, as well as all of the rough, worn spots where the wood of the chair shows thru...

Here's what it looks like with the chair painted, just before I start painting the actual newspaper & pots of paint on the seat of the chair...

A close up of some of the chair legs, and of the old worn wooden floor... 

So I'm about to start painting all of the wonderful splotches & drips & spatters of color on his "chair palette", and this is the color palette I've chosen to attempt to do it justice...

Below is the partially painted "chair palette" with old crumpled newspapers covered with (now dried) colorful drips & puddles of paint.But before I've done much work on the pots & brushes on top.

And then a close up of what it looks like with the pots & brushes painted... 

  

And the biggest improvement here is deciding to strengthen the brilliant blue color of the chair. In the previous iteration I felt it was a little pale...

This last step is always my favorite when I get to do it! Adding the shadows behind the chair is the pièce de résistance for sure...

Picasso's Palette ©
12w" x 16h" watercolor
on 140 lb. Arches watercolor paper

This is what I imagine Picasso's chair palette may have looked like all snug as a bug in his studio. Can you see him sitting just out of frame, and reaching for one of those brushes?

And wouldn't you just love to know which painting was the last to be touched by this palette of color before it dried for the last time?!!

If you'd like to see what it would look like framed and hung over a fireplace or sofa, you can check it out on my website.

Have an amazing weekend everyone:)

As always, I would love to know your thoughts on this or any other creative matter you want to talk about! Leave your comment below, and let's chat art & creativity...



Older Post Newer Post