I carefully select the subject for my still life painting, and place all items so they create an interesting composition. I tone the painting surface in a warm tone with thinned transparent oil. I then mark the outer edges of my subject.
I begin putting the darkest values in the background. I’m careful to pay attention to the subtle value and color changes in the shadows which are influenced by reflected light. I make sure to keep my edges soft in the beginning.
I put in the middle values at this point, and then focus on the lighter areas. I now begin to put in detail and sharper edges where needed. The most intense colors are added to the focal area. I stand back frequently to make certain that this area is prominent.
I now do my final refinements until I feel that I have placed enough information on the canvas to transmit to the viewer what inspired me to paint this particular subject in the beginning.