Painted Bowl


IMG_6738Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about carving the side panels of this maple bowl.  Since then, I’ve completed the painting — a slow process.  Not just because artist’s oils dry slowly, but more so because I did a lot of thinking about and experimenting with the color scheme.  Normally, in carving, my considerations involve line, light, and shadow.  Color throws a whole other factor into the mix, and it can be intimidating.  I was really pleased with the form of the bowl; especially the deeply sculpted curves.  I didn’t want to take a chance and ruin it, but the relatively plain maple seemed to call out for a little more, a little risk.  I won’t be going wild with a paintbrush on all my stuff, but I’m glad I did on this one.


I made copies of this sketch in order to sample color combinations.

To experiment with different color combinations, I drew a basic sketch of a portion of the bowl, then made several xerox copies.  I used colored pencils at first, then  painted sample sections directly onto the paper.  I used lots of paper, but finally decided on what you see above.  Once that was settled it was time to paint the bowl itself.

IMG_6752I used high quality artist’s oil paints and thinned them with a little linseed oil to a consistency that wasn’t too thick or too thin.  Jogge Sundquist uses artist’s oils on most of his work, and is an expert in their use.  Over the summer I talked with him about the amount of oil to add, and he explained that there is no rule — “Until it is just right.” It even varies among colors and pigment types.   You can also add thinner (turps or even citrus thinner) instead of oil to create more of a stain.  Anyway, it is fun stuff to mess around with.  I don’t know if it is just right, but I like it.

IMG_6325Compared to the paints most of us are used to, artist’s oils take a long time to dry — it can be over a week to be dry to the touch!  Since I painted the colors in sequence after each dried, I sped up the drying process with a heat lamp — which our cat, Mavis, appreciated as well.  After the painting was completely finished, I treated the interior of the bowl with a few coats of flax seed oil, then another over the entire bowl, paint and all.

The dimensions are 17 1/2″ long, 12″ wide, and 6 1/2″ high.






This entry was posted in bowls, drying, paint, patterns, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Painted Bowl

  1. Scott Kinsey says:

    Well… I never.
    I grew up in the SW corner of Virginia and the “sentence” above was one I heard time and again way back when. It had many uses… and meanings… but mostly was an expression of the inexpressible. In this case the great pleasure of astonishment. What a grand piece of work!


  2. tim koenig says:

    You ARE a master. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Not too much, not too little, just that thin fine line of “enough”. And you hit it every time, drawing, carving, painting, finish. So rare to see. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barry Gordon says:

    Stunning! Your skill and patience have paid off.


  4. myronathon says:

    hats off David … stunning beauty … simply stunning.


  5. I would echo Tim Koenig’s words. I salute your bravery in not resting on your laurels and boldly experimenting. Only by daring to risk ‘good taste’ can one hope to find truth and beauty.
    I salute your deft skill and bold courage, and appreciate that you share your journey through your great blog posts! Thank you.


  6. Cynthia Sartor says:

    You are making the world more beautiful with each stoke of the knife. Thank you.


  7. David, The bowl is beautiful, a great experiment. I am curious if the inside of it was sanded or is that finish off the knife? Cheers


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Hi, Deneb. All of the surfaces are straight off the knife. The gouge with which I pared the inside surface has a very shallow sweep, so it left a very subtle texture that doesn’t read all that well in the photos. Missing those Maine oysters by the way.


  8. Ben Griswold says:

    David, This is one of the most stunning hand carved bowls I’ve seen. I love the color contrast. Excellent stuff.

    -Ben from Oregon


  9. The surface is so smooth looking that I could not tell. Gorgeous work. We keep growing more oysters, you will have to come back for more. Cheers


  10. This is a beautiful artwork !


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