Punt E Mes

Before Christmas I set up a little still life using a bottle of Punt E Mes, and ash tray, an orange and a glass. First I did a few preliminary sketches in watercolour.

water colour sketch of jug and ashtray
water-colour sketch of jug and ashtray
watercolour cketch of orange and glass
water-colour sketch of orange and glass

Reasonably happy with these – except for the orange which isn’t very orange-like. At this stage not sure which direction I’m going in, but decided to kick off with a fairly traditional approach in watercolour:

Punt E Mes water colour
Punt E Mes water-colour

What worked? The strong diamond shape of the white cloth; the patter of light and shade on the cloth; the ashtray. What didn’t work? the background – I treated it as ‘background’ and an after thought rather than giving this area the same status as the rest of the picture; the glass needed to be simplified and the glass bottle seems clumsy – over worked.

My next effort was to capture the composition in a tonal sketch to tease out some of the relationships and contrasts. I like the movement in this picture.

Sketch in indian ink
Sketch in indian ink

Then I did the same composition using oil paint heavily diluted with Liquin. Still not sure where I am going with the picture , but I wanted to build on the sense of movement and lightness.

Punt E Mes composition in oil and Liquin
Punt E Mes composition in oil and Liquin

Still struggling with the ‘background’.

I thought I’d do a monoprint of this composition and then work over it in watercolour. Well, I’m not an expert at printing and the monoprint went a bit haywire I think because I wet the paper; however I managed to rescue something from it, although it wasn’t what I had planned.

punt e mes 006punt e mes 007

Finally I had ago using collage – not a great success.

punt e mes 008

At this point I’ve decided to leave this composition and move on. Not sure what to – I’ve got a list of thoughts. I’ll have a drink of the Punt E Mes while I decide, (possibly with gin; Russell Harty’s favourite tipple. Cheers).



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