Still Life demo by John Rizzotto

oil still life demonstration image
After intuitively arranging objects, John Rizzotto methodically renders what he sees. In this demonstration of Ken’s Workbench (above; oil, 32×32) the objects evoke a presence. “My intent is to have the arrangement look very real, as if it’s logically occurring in space,” Rizzotto says. “I work broardly at the start, to get everything locked into its particular place and to create atmosphere. The value structure always comes first.”

oil still life demonstration image
Rizzotto chooses the elements and arranges them so that there’s an interesting array of shapes, sizes, colors and textures. He controls the lighting for dramatic effect.

oil still life demonstration image
Rizzotto draws the elements the size they will be in the finished painting on kraft paper. He views the drawing as a tool. The objective is to transfer a three-dimensional reality to a two-dimensional format.

oil still life demonstration image
The artist works on all elements at once, fine-tuning spatial relationships as he proceeds. Color and form are addressed only after all the individual elements relate a sense of convincing dimension.

oil still life demonstration
After several thin coats of color, Rizzotto clarifies, bringing textural concerns to their full realization. He applies varnish a month or two after a painting like Ken’s Workbench (oil, 32×32) is completed.

To read “Silence and Slow Time,” an interview by Maureen Bloomfield with John Rizzotto in the July/August 2007 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, click here and order the 2007 Annual CD.

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John Rizzotto’s Interview Outtake


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