Tea and Oranges A burst of sumptuous details

Let’s begin with a painting from 2011 entitled “Tea and Oranges”.

This is one of the most ambitious paintings I’ve done, because every square inch (or centimeter, if you prefer) is covered with rich, intricate detail.


This detail had to look good by itself, but it also had to fit together with all the other detail to form a larger whole.

One thing I was very aware of when I was painting this was trying to  capture the different textures of the objects.

The silky softness of the fabric, the hard rinds of the oranges, and the waxy surfaces of the leaves are all very different from each other, and seemed relatively easy to describe in paint.

The teacup and the teapot were real challenges, though.  Porcelain and metal feel similar to the touch – but not exactly the same, and it was hard work trying to capture that subtle difference visually.





This painting is larger than normal for me, at 15×24 inches (37×60 cm), and took about 6 weeks of long, steady working days.  

I followed the approach I typically take with my paintings; a careful drawing, black and white underpainting, and finally the color layer.  If you’d like to learn more about this approach, please visit my process page.

Art cards of this painting are available.  Click the button below.