Food Art, Onions still life, painting lesson

Home > Tips from my easel. > Onions demonstration part 2

This is the 2nd part of our food art of onions demonstration.

This first picture is dipping my paint brush into my medium.

Food Art, Onions still life, painting lesson

I want to make the dark color.

I'm about to add a bit of medium to the mixture.

Food Art, Onions still life, painting lesson

Here you see my colors on the palette and there are not many!

Food Art, Onions still life, painting lesson
Food Art, Onions still life, painting lesson

I have applied the paint to the background and under the shelf.


They are very different in contrast, so there will be much blending to be done to get the effect I want of a very smooth transition of light to dark.


Using the flat dry brush, I use a combination of stabbing and waving motion of the brush to blend these paints on the canvas.

This is an acceptable practice to blend on your canvas.

You can see several shots taken of the blending/correcting brush work to create this smooth transitions.


I continue to go around the top and under the shelf with a correcting brush to blend the two colors.

Several passes are made to get the blending effect that I want.

Here I begin using my soft mop dry blending brush.

This again takes several passes to blend away the visible brush strokes and things begin to smooth out

Similar to an airbrush or watercolor blending and smooth transition from one color to the next.

As you can see, just a little paint is removed, but my blending has given me a nice smooth transition.

Here we begin the color layers of the objects within the painting!

Color is blocked in for each onion and very little correcting is needed.

You can really see the benefits even here of this technique!



The under layer are showing through so well, just a touch of color is needed to start things off.

Then the soft brush blending is applied to lose the heavy brush strokes and leave just the initial color for the onions.



Here, we begin laying in the last color layer for the background.

Paint is applied quickly, the lighter the tone, the thicker the paint.

My medium at this point contains the most oils keeping with the fat over lean mantra.

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The round dry brush is used for correction/blending.

Final soft dry mop blending is done.


Note the color I have now laid into the shelf.

And finally, the final layer on my red onion.


These again are applied rather thickly and precisely.

More color is added to all aspects of the onion.

Highlights, darks, and serations at the top of the onion are added.

Then lightly touched with both the round dry brush and the mop brush, seen in the lower portion of the photo.

The final photo showing my color mixtures for this red onion.

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Here we begin our white onion.

Just touches of light sap green are added.

And my white mixtures.

Also, a picture of my palette knife loaded with open/pure white.

Please note, that the whitest white of the onion does not approach the pure white.

All the whites in the onion has mixtures of light yellow, burnt umber, and sap green added.

After the final blending for the onion.

A check for what to accomplish with the yellow onion.

One thing I noticed in the photo.


The color is way off.

Not sure is this is a lighting issue or a camera setting, but in the actual painting, these match more closely than the picture here is showing, (for color temperature primarily, the actual onion appears much less brown and more yellow than in the painting)

Application of paint, then below, the final blending.



After a drying period, my signature and a protective light varnishing.

The final painting below!

Hopefully you have enjoyed this food art demonstration.

Onions are not a challenge when using this technique.

Now, head out to the store and get yourself a couple, for painting and for the stew!

If you enjoyed this onion demonstration, or are looking for some other subject to paint, and would like to see it demonstrated here.

Fill out my form on the "On my Easel" page, and let me know. I would love to hear your feedback!

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Now that you've seen how it's done, but you would like to see a better demonstration live, click here to see a great video!

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