“Lemon Love” Painting Demonstration of an Oil Color Still Life: Art Collaboration w/ Erika Lancaster

“Lemon Love” Painting Demonstration of an Oil Color Still Life: Art Collaboration w/ Erika Lancaster

Hi everyone this is Dena Tollefson and I
have my little friend Muffin here. Yes Muffin. Muffin is my wonderful Yorkshire
Terrier and some of you been asking to see her so Muffin’s gonna make a little
little appearance in this video and she’s gonna help welcome
Erika Lancaster and a collaboration that we’re doing and so Erika and I met on
social media and she’s a wonderful artist and I love her spirit. She’s got
this wonderful sense of- she did this video on affirmations for artists she
has these great drawing skills. She does watercolor, oil, acrylics and she lives in
Monterrey Mexico so I’m gonna have some information about how to get a hold of
Erika and how to get to Erika’s channel in the information below in the
description also at the end of the videos at the- sorry! at the end of the
video I will have – I’m going to knock my painting down! At the end of the video
I also have some information on how to get to her channel and with a little
thing that you could just click so what we’re gonna do for this collaboration is
we both like to paint still life so what our challenge that we set is let’s do
two lemons so I’ve got my lemons here and we decided that we’re gonna include
one purple flower so I’m going to pick one of these flowers and use that in the
composition and then a blue background and then I’m gonna do it on a little 8 x 10 canvas board so got this ready to go and I’m going to set up this
still life um and I’ll take you all the way through the process and I appreciate
you watching and I hope that you enjoy this video and and so let’s get painting! Hi Dena and hello to everyone here over
at Dena’s channel I hope that you’re having an incredible day and I am super
happy to be here popping into Dena’s video for a tiny bit just to say hi to
you guys and to share how excited I am to be sharing this project that Dena and
I did together with you it was super fun and it’s gonna be interesting to watch
because Dena and I both painted a very similar subject in our two different
styles I have been a fan of Dena’s work ever since finding her on YouTube a
while back I absolutely loved her use of bold bright saturated color which is
something that I love using in my own work as well and I also really admire
and find her texture making technique super unique I love how she leaves all
this unbelievable beautiful texture in her paintings but aside from really
admiring her at a you know technical level I really love her as a person
because she’s super inspiring positive and encouraging and she’s so generous
with the information that she puts out there being able to do this project with
her was really an honor so thank you Dena and I hope that you guys enjoy
watching these thank you so much for listening and talk to you soon so now I
need to set up my still life and I’m using my light purple chrysanthemum
taking a look at my color wheel and thinking about what kind of blue do I
want to use I know I’m gonna put one of my husband’s shirts in the still life
and it’ll be this one I like this kind of turquoise-y blue color I like how
that looks against the yellow with the purple and against a white I think
that’s going to be a really pretty setup so I’ve got the the beginning of the
painting just kind of sketched in here with a little bit of phthalo blue red
shade and some yellow ochre and I have the still life physically sitting really
close next to me now let’s go ahead and lay in a couple little marks here to
indicate the shadows of the chrysanthemum and I can see a little bit
of a dark right over there off the side to the center when I look at the flower
and squint to look at the shadows just kind of getting the shape and the size
and that chrysanthemum laid in the colors will all go on top of there later
but it’s important to get these basic shapes going in here first so I’m just
scrubbing in with I’m using a bristle brush here and making sure that I’ve got
all of the darkest areas identified there’s a little shadow area that’s
right underneath those lemons and I want to be able to capture that in the paint
so just going in here and I’m laying in what is known as a like a grey pattern
or I think it’s called a grisaille a or Grisaille if you speak French but it’s
a term that just means that you lay in basically your lights and your
darks in a gray pattern so now it’s time to start adding the color I’ll put the highlight in on
the lemon that I could see where the north light is coming in right and
shining and making a really pretty glow against the fruit so let me get let me
get a little bit of light here on this I guess on this second one yeah I’m
looking okay so there’s a little bit of light there’s not quite as much of a
brightness on that second lemon but I’m gonna go ahead and tone that down a
little bit with the yellow later but let’s go ahead and lay in the front part
of the cloth and I’m just using that same bristle brush with the oil paint
this is all being done in oil paint and just nice and easy just kind of letting
that white work its way across the table there we go
I’m just letting kind of loose strokes I’m not filling in every little section
I like some of that yellow ochre under painting showing through I think that’s
a that’s a good touch I’m also being careful to any of the areas that I’ve
identified as shadow I’m being careful not to let the paint
get on to those areas all right now a little lemon yellow and we’ll just kind
of go ahead and touch that in next to our highlight get it worked in so this
lemon yellow it’s it’s nice that there’s a color called lemon yellow since we’re
painting lemons here but this lemon yellow I’m going to go ahead and just
put this in the very latest parts of the fruit it’s important again to get like a
sense of three dimensionality that you that you kind of exaggerate the darks so
can get a little bit of this yellow down here some reflected light reflected
light that comes off of the light bouncing off of the white fabric at the
front I can see that’s a little bit the fruits a little bit lighter there a little bit more right here on the edge
there’s a warm little area where the two fruit are touching I’m going to be sure
to reserve that and make that like a nice orange-y or a warm color I can see
that when I’m looking at the fruit and I keep always checking over and looking at
the still life looking through the setup I have a little little mat board that is
the size of the canvas so when I peek through there I can then easily tell
where everything should be positioned relative to to the subject so a little
bit now we’ve got a little bit darker yellow that we’re adding and this is
some of that CAD yellow and I’m not diluting the paint at all I’m just using
it straight out of the tube you’re some yellow ochre and it might seem like it’s
too dark like oh why are you putting that super dark color on there but it’ll
all make sense at the end it’s importantly is again important to have
dark enough colors because if you have wherever you have the dark color then it
will make the light color seem lighter and I’m doing this so that we have
enough contrast in the painting and now in the back of the fruit there’s like
the little area where the the fruit matches up I think that’s the area where
the fruit matches up with the tree actually you know just emphasizing that
I think that’s where maybe that’s where it was yeah I think that would be where
they fruit ends up with the stem I’m not quite sure but I believe so I don’t have
a lemon tree but I believe that’s how it would go all right so now just my lemons
all came from the grocery store but um and actually Erika might have over in
Mexico she might have lemons in her in her yard we have a lot of rhubarb and
cherries and those kind of things in Iowa blueberries but can’t grow lemons
unless it would be indoors all right so now just on my palette now let’s let’s
go ahead and play a little bit with some of this blue so this is the phthalo blue
red shade mixed in with a Cobra I have a blue it’s a turquoise blue and just have
a nice combination of those two colors and I’m gonna go ahead and lay in this
darker color I um I’m gonna be layering this color so I’m putting in a darker
color first and I like the effect of the yellow ochre peeking through with this
darker blue and then I’ll be mixing up a lighter blue that matches closer to my
husband’s shirt but I’m kind of liking how this darker blue is looking I’m
again trying to think about the contrast between the light color of the fruit and
then the white tablecloth and on the flower itself and working to get a nice
contrast but I don’t want the blue to be too dark so as I’m going through this
I’m thinking I’m gonna go ahead and you know lighten that back up
the way I’ll lighten it is I’ll be adding some of the titanium white into
the into the mixture then when I approach the flower I’m going to be
careful to not not cover up the areas where the petals are so I’m leaving
plenty of space and this is just the initial colors I’m going to go back in
then later and put that purple on top kind of a lavender purple and just
letting the brush just kind of go in there and make some different shapes and
in the still life I’m gonna go ahead and do also a video of how to set up a still
life things to consider and how to do that and everything so since Erika and I
decided that our subject was going to be two lemons and one purple flower and a
blue background I’m connecting the flower and the lemons in a way that
they’ll form kind of one mass of color so now let’s go in with that lighter
color there we go yeah I like I like how bright even though it’s not as much
contrast I do like this play of the light fresh blue against the fruit I
feel like that that’s giving a good effect so just coming over and I’m
letting some of the paint actually touch up onto the fruit and there’s a little
trick in painting that what you want to do is you want to go ahead and let your
paint from one area to the other overlap on each other and then you can come back
later that avoids the feeling like it’s a
coloring book kind of a thing where you have an outline or an edge when you
allow some of the paint to go and overlap one area into the other then it
just kind of it just kind of a makes a neat effect I’ll go back later and
soften that edge but I’m letting those two areas
you know overlap alright yeah there we go
say well just wipe that off and and we’re also when we do that we get a
really super soft edge and the the edge of the fruit is a curve it’s a turning
area so it’s important that that area feels soft now it’s going to be time to
ground the painting so just with another little bristle brush just going in here
and adding Mars black to the bottom of the painting and what we’re doing is
where was this called grounding the painting and this is the darkest area in
the painting I’ll go back and soften that edge because we don’t want to
attempt too hard of an edge we want to- this this grounding principle is that
the we want the fruit to feel like it is part of the earth or part of the ground
and when we put this dark, dark shadow underneath then that really helps give
the feeling that the fruit belongs to the earth or it belongs to the table
there we go all right let’s go back now with a little titanium white and let’s
restate some of those brighter areas on the front of the tablecloth just using
straight white without mixing it in any other color just letting it go right up
to our shadow area and we can soften that transition between the lemon shadow
area and the team the front of the tablecloth later with a clean brush alright now I’m going to go in and pay a
little bit more attention to the fruit itself let’s go back in with some of
that CAD yellow and describe the fruit by adding additional colors and
additional tones so I’ve added a little bit of CAD orange and white to that
yellow and mixing up a color we’re gonna warm up this color and and and it seems
shocking at first but it’s all going to blend out get a little bit here I can
see a little bit of a shadow there and then this warm area where the two fruit
are interacting I really I think that’s probably my favorite place in the still
life is that little area where they’re interacting and touching I really like
that so I’m going to be careful not to over blend just let the brushstrokes
show I picked up a little bit of the blue on my brush but I can wipe that off
later that’s fine alright just mixing a little of a yellow ochre into that now
let’s go in and really darken the back of this fruit it’s really in shadow so
with this north light that we have everything that’s not being hit with the
light on the backside of the fruit it’s it’s important to show all that shadow
area okay now a little more than yellow ocher and just get that worked in try not to over blend I’m just letting
those strokes follow the direction of the planes of the fruit and the whole
idea is to really capture the effect of the light as it hits the fruit I’m just
following with my strokes with the brush following the direction that those
colors and I’m seeing those colors and those values as opposed to just going
and just making circles around it I’m using in straight lines and straight
straight marks with a brush let’s go once more with this highlight wanna make
really sure that that highlight is nice and bright I’m mixing up with some of
our dioxazine purple a little bit of orange and some of the titanium white a
little bit more orange there we go I’m gonna mix up a color to describe the
flower so now we can get working on that flower so that we need a light a light
color and a dark color to describe that flower let’s take a little puddle of
that color and add some more of our titanium white get that whipped into
shape here get a color all right that’s nice and let’s get one more color let’s
get to an even lighter color going a highlight color that’s pretty and just some nice easy strokes with the
bristle brush on our medium color and this kind of lavender color just using
these individual strokes to show that strong pointy feeling that we get with
the chrysanthemum I’m gonna look now to look at the direction that I’m seeing
the petals so I’m now thinking about carefully
laying in those shapes and the light versus dark that I’m seeing as those
individual petals are reacting to the beautiful north light exposure some of
these are curving in on themselves and some of them are poking straight out and
I’m thinking about these individual shapes and just just drawing the the
color as the light is hitting it there we go one there and these
chrysanthemums can be kind of tricky to to paint because there’s such a light
and airy flowers it’s easy to make them look too heavy so I’m thinking about how
light and delicate they are in each of these individual petals I’m not drawing
each petal I’m just drawing the shape that I see in the light just trying to
get the feeling of the direction of each of these petals now some of the dark
looking to see where the darkest little recesses are and draw only the dark
shape and again the way to make our lights look bright and light is to have
a dark and there’s a little dark area right behind where the light isn’t
hitting as much it’s right in between the two lemons I really love that little
area where the purple of the flower is intersecting with the yellow and on our
color wheel they’re opposites of each other so I think that the purple and the
yellow are really going to make a dynamic pairing and I want to make sure
to juxtapose those two colors together all right a little bit more of the
middle color let’s get a petal there okay little highlight there we go indicate a few more of these shapes from
the flower there we go okay so this this combination of these three
colors the light the medium purple and the green it’s really a just kind of a
impressionistic approach to painting it where I’m just looking at the shape and
the way the light is hitting it so now I can use this our turquoise-y blue
background color I can use that to now go in I’m going to use a little of the
as a French ultramarine I’m gonna go in and that’s kind of a darker version and
a little bit more of a brighter blue our version and I can bring that color to
again also bring emphasis to the flower itself and I can carve out little shapes
of the flower I can either do you know paint it by putting the purple on itself
or I can use the the background color or the blue color in this case and and then
define the shapes by painting the background and that’s called negative
painting when you’re when you’re painting kind of carving a shape out by
painting around it and it’s nice to be able to do negative painting and
positive painting because then you can avoid that feeling of that something’s
like cut out or it’s like has like a coloring book edge now I can just go
back in here and finesse a few edges get a little bit more there I’m gonna work a
little bit more on that reflected light I’m feeling like that’s a little tube I
put that yellow in but it’s a little bit too bright what I’m gonna do back do is
come back in and try and make a little bit warmer and darker version of that so
now that I’ve got this the CAD yellow on my brush I’ll go back in and
let’s get that area light let’s really increase our lights here there we go
with the lemon when I really be sure to emphasize that light that’s hitting it
from the window and picking up a little of impasto tech like a nice impasto
texture a thick texture getting the shape of the lemon okay now I’m gonna
get in a little bit this color here this let’s warm that up a little bit with
some of the cat orange and that that shape is helping to turn the form so it
looks more 3-dimensional that’s it that’s better we had it just a little
too light there we go that’s better so it was a darker color and a was a little
bit more red in it that orange that that was helpful there we go all right
now it’s time to sign so I’ve got added a little bit of linseed oil into the
paint and now I can go ahead and sign I mixed up a light gray and I’ll go ahead
and sign my name and I want to thank everyone for watching and I’ve really
enjoyed doing this collaboration with Erika and I hope that you’ll subscribe
to my channel and I hope that you’ll also go and subscribe to Erika’s channel
and I really appreciate you watching all right very good well until next time
this is Dena Tollefson and I appreciate you watching and take care


  • Dena Tollefson says:

    Thank you so much for watching! Please be sure to check out Erika Lancasterโ€™s channel, a link is in the description below

  • Erika Lancaster says:

    Watching your video, Dena! My video is up already, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ It's very cool to see how you went about this challenge! It was lots of fun. I don't have a lemon tree, unfortunately. Here in Mexico, limes are more common than lemons. Fun fact: "limรณn" is what people in the U.S. refer to as a "lime" and "lima" is what you refer to as a "lemon". hahah ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bart & Trix says:

    Great job! we are subscribed! welcome!๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽจโœ๏ธGreetings Bart & Trix!

  • Luke Hanlon Art says:

    Aww muffin looks adorable ๐Ÿ˜† he seems well behaved as well! Think your chickens were jealous though ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Such a cool idea that you put Erika in your video ๐Ÿ˜Š nice colour choice on the shirt I love that colour haha love both of your pieces you both did a great job, awesome collab ๐Ÿ˜ป๐Ÿ‘

  • DAVY. J.Y. Art with a pen. says:

    The color scheme is fantastic..,i love it. The completed painting is wonderful ! I really enjoyed watching this video of you creating an artwork from start to finish Dena ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Caitlin Maree says:

    Muffin is the cutest!!!๐Ÿถ

  • Painting For Beginners says:

    Excellent talent.

  • teenamarie23art says:

    Love this painting…

  • Helen Schaefer says:

    I really enjoyed this video. It was great meeting Erica and I hope that you continue to inspire each other.

  • Anu Art says:


  • Draw with Jonny says:

    The complete painting is fantastic Dena, the colours are fantastic in this ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œp.s Erika is a brilliant artist

  • Drawing Book says:

    Wow lovely

  • ART JACK says:

    ์ž˜๋ณด๊ณ  ๊ฐ‘๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ๋ชฉ์†Œ๋ฆฌ ๋„ˆ๋ฌด ์ข‹๊ณ  ์ž์„ธํ•œ์„ค๋ช…์ด ์ฑ„๋„์„ฑ์žฅ์ด ๋นจ๋ฆฌ ๋ ๊ฒƒ๊ฐ™์Šต๋‹ˆ๋‹ค. ์ข‹์€๊ทธ๋ฆผ๊ณผ ์„ค๋ช…์— ๊ฐ์‚ฌ๋“œ๋ฆฝ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

  • Red Queen Art Creations says:

    Absolutely beautiful still life painting Dena, The contrast of the yellow lemons against the blue background is just stunning, really lovely work, Eleanor x

  • Ist mir Wunst says:

    This still life is great (big like for you)

  • chrissycanvasart says:

    FABULOUS Dena, this was great to watch love how you tell us the process ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ˜ beautiful still life, awe and little muffin bless her.. Also I'm glad you and Erika did this collaboration it was great my love, hugs and big thumbs up from me๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽจ๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒผ

  • DRAW2NIGHT says:

    Very fun and helpful painting demonstration dear Dena! You paint so softly and creative way! The collaboration is great idea! Have a nice weekend! Joseph๐Ÿท๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘

  • GoodArt says:

    Great work Dena!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿ‘

  • Artemystik says:

    This is just beautiful Dena!! It's lovely. Wonderful that you've done this collaboration, I'll head for Erica's channel now! Thank you for sharing! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„

  • TianaDIY says:

    so beautiful Dena!!!

  • Deathlake says:

    Loving the tones you placed on the lemons and the contrast with the background^^

  • Cat Meiny Art says:

    Amazing work

  • HappyAngel Drawings says:

    So beautiful painting ^^ I love it ^^

  • BlueEastCoast says:

    Awesome share..muffin is adorable ๐Ÿ‘

  • Mona L creates says:

    Cute little dog! And a wonderful painting!! I do not paint with oils, but I find it fun to see others paint!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!! Hugs!

  • Artfully Yours with Diana says:

    Wonderful videoโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ I enjoyed how well you explained the process! And beautiful paintingโค๏ธ

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