I've gotten a bit further on the small painting "Pomegranate, Canoe, and Box" oil on panel, 8"x10". My usual method when painting fruit is to do a raw umber wipeout and then do a color wash underpainting (ebauche) focusing on the fruit because that's the perishable. I use Liquin for the ebauche, it gives the paint a nice semi glossy transparency and it dries quickly. The photo below shows the completion of the next stage. I start the finishing pass by first laying a couche (thin coating) of my medium (Gamblin Neo-Megilp), which is a modern substitute for Maroger medium (black oil). I mix up my neutral string of colors and my color specific strings and I begin to lay in my block-in adding medium as I go. I usually pick one area that includes a large range of hue, value, and chroma and bring it to completion in order to key the painting. Once I've blocked in that area I'll go back in with "bridge" values and colors so that the larger areas will have smoother transitions, and yet still show some brush strokes, what Ted Seth Jacobs calls "shaping the light". Even though I have a string of colors mixed I'm still doing a lot of improvising with my brush, it's not "paint by numbers" by any means.
I'm teaching an art class at the Brooklyn Museum of Art to teenagers, which is fun, because they want you to focus on a current exhibit along with your art project. Even though my work could be classified as "academic" that doesn't mean I'm not open to other types of art, as they say "variety is the spice of life". Occasionally I'll get to incorporate some of my own methodologies into what I'm teaching. I'm also starting to teach an adult still life class this Monday at the National Art League nationalartleague.org . I've got seven students signed up so far, so I'm excited. It's a lot of work preparing, I have to construct seven shadow boxes, and lighting setups. I want to focus on working from life because I feel that that's the best way to learn.