I've been taking painting classes for a few years now, at the same art school. In fact, I've been there so long that I've gone through every prop in the "still life prop" closet. Plastic fruit, second-hand bowls and vases, gnarled driftwood. You name it, I've tried to paint it.
Uninspired by the props, I decided to try something different -- copying the work of another artist. I adore Cezanne, but it would feel like blasphemy to try to copy his gorgeous apples. Instead, I discovered the work of Max Pechstein, a German expressionist from the first half of the 20th century. Vibrant colors, strong brushwork -- here's the painting I chose.
I started by sketching the shapes in charcoal onto my canvas. I ended up compressing the scene a bit, since my canvas was slimmer than the Pechstein's.
I began by filling in the pitchers, vases and leaves. The pitchers are slightly Seussical, which I love.Next came the fruit and flowers.
Here's my finished painting. I'm happy with how much it looks -- and feels -- like the original. At least from a distance!