Nearly Complete, but with Uneven Drying
At this point the painting is basically complete. A few details need to be tightened up and several colors need to be strengthened. In particular I want to pay more attention to the reflections in the silver creamer. I’ll also restate some of the colors in the lemon – it should have a greater saturation of the yellow.
One minor frustration of this piece is that much of the paint has dried to a matte finish, making the true colors harder to judge (and photograph). The background in particular appears far lighter than it actually is. I generally mix a little Stand Oil or Walnut Alkyd Oil into my paints on the palette, and this imparts a gloss finish, keeping the colors truer as the painting dries. This time I tried a batch of medium with much less oil in it, and I’m not impressed with the result.
It’s easy enough to fix. Once the problem areas are dry, I can restore them to proper appearance by either applying a thin coat of retouch varnish or with a very thin coat of oil rubbed on to the surface (known as oiling out). There are things I don’t like about oiling out; it lengthens the drying time and for archival purposes, the less oil, the better as a rule. So, I’ll use retouch varnish for this.