Homage to Surf and Turf / with close ups

That was fun and I think it worked out. I’ll try another pointillist painting next year.

If you eat enough crabs you find a claw gripping a leg sometimes. PETA would tell you this is why not to eat crabs. They think their death is a violent struggle. It’s not. When the crab hits the boiling water it’s dead instantly and cooking. They jump and snap their claws but that’s a reflex. When you cut the head off a chicken it can still run. Could the chicken be alive without a head? I don’t think so. The same thing with a snake. They keep moving without a head. The crab has similar nerves but if it got out of the pot and back into the bay it would be dead in the bay.

The legs come off easy in nature. When a predator tries to catch a crab the leg comes off and the crab doesn’t die. It escapes from the predator and grows a new leg! Some sea critters can direct stem cells in their bodies to replace a lost limb. Scientists are trying to learn how they do it so humans can grow new limbs or organs or what they need to live longer.

I had to buy more crabs so I could mix the right colors. I like the colors of nature and try to match them most of the time. When I started dotting this crab I had one on the table as a model and I noticed that my sketch in the underpainting stage wasn’t finished. The crab has a face from this perspective and I dotted it in. He looks happy. The crab mouth isn’t a horizontal slit. It’s more like two vertical slits from what I could see feeding ghost crabs last year.

This is a focal point on the far right, a black dot close to white dots.

This is another reason I’m glad I didn’t skip the color rough stage. When I did the rough I wasn’t sure about how to paint the table top. Checked tablecloth or no checks? And where to draw the edge of the table so one crab can be falling off. I didn’t do the checks and the painting doesn’t need them. I lowered the edge of the table and now I like the way that one leg breaks the line.

The subject falling off the edge of the table is an old master trick to make the art viewer want to be in the picture. You want to push it back from the edge. The masters often had fabric or plates or grapes or something going off the edge. It also represents “we all fall down”.

I wasn’t originally planning to have the horse step on the crabs but when I drew it on the canvas with charcoal I made corrections on the sketch and the hoof was on the crabs. I decided not to redraw it, just let it be.

The horse was really hard to do. It’s a view where you see down onto the horse’s back which foreshortens the neck and legs. Also the right front hoof is closer to you than the right rear hoof. Since you’re looking at it on an angle instead of directly from the side the body is slightly foreshortened. I drew it and redrew it so many times all freehand. I knew if I kept at it I’d get something close to visually realistic. This was good drawing practice.

I leave you with some flowers.

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