Teatime STILL LIFE
Artists & Illustrators|December 2020
ANGELA BANDURKA brings out the fine china to demonstrate how an analogous palette can be used to create a sense of harmony
ANGELA BANDURKA
Fine china and tea have been a part of my life since childhood. As a Canadian living in the United States, I’ve found I’ve become even more nostalgic for my “heritage” as I’ve aged, and painting these teacups makes me feel more in touch with my family and friends who still live in Canada.

There’s also the technical challenge of painting all of those patterns and the translucent tea that draws me in as well. For me, the process of setting up my teacups and choosing which objects and fabrics will work well with the focal point are as time consuming as the actual painting process.

For this painting, Calming the Nerves, I wanted to use an analogous palette – one that uses adjacent hues on the colour wheel. Analogous palettes have always made me feel calm and comfortable, with just a hit or two of their complementary colours to help balance the harmony. I used M Graham acrylic paints which are smooth and slightly less viscous than other high-quality brands. This allows them to dry just a tiny bit slower.

The painting was one of the first I’ve been inspired to do since the pandemic began in earnest. It’s a challenge to feel creative in times of stress, but this painting was one that felt calming for me as the cup is one that I inherited from a grandmother and has the same pattern as my mother’s set.

My process is broken down into three main stages: the first stage is to design the painting and set up the still life, in the second stage, I’ll draw directly onto the canvas and take my time getting the drawing just the way I’d like it, with the final stage being the painting process itself. www.angelabandurka.com

Angela’s materials

•Canvas Smooth cotton canvas, 30x30cm

•Paints Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Rose, Terra Rosa, Burnt Umber, and Ultramarine Blue, all M Graham & Co. acrylics

•Brushes Royal Langnickel Zen long-handled filberts, sizes 0, 2 and 6; Simply Simmons round, size 2; Princeton Series 3750 script liner brush, size 0

•Faber-Castell Pitt pastel pencils

•Palette knife

•Kneaded eraser

•Acrylic gloss gel medium

1 Set things up

I set up the teacup on a table to my left. This really forced me to turn and stare intently at my subject matter, taking as much into my memory as possible so that I don’t find myself going back and forth interminably. I closed all the windows so that my artificial light source was constant during the process.

I sketched my design in a sketchbook to revise it and made colour studies to limit my palette to the necessary pigments. The subject had a lot of reds, oranges, and yellows, so I chose a green-blue tone for my canvas. Beginning with a ground that is complementary to the main colours feels balanced for me.

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