Dave and I are each starting a new still life, side by side in our studio. Since our paintings are the exact same size and since we happen to be starting at the same time, we're going to have a competition to see who finishes first.
My still life has a traditional library theme. The fabric in the background is standing in for wallpaper, which is pretty difficult to find. There are still a few small elements missing from the set up, but they will find their way in before the painting is complete.
Dave's still life has a contemporary industrial look to it. The blue strip is an extension cord.
Dave and I have very different approaches to our drybrush, or drawing stage. I like to paint directly on the canvas with raw umber and mineral spirits. I use two large brushes (at least an inch wide), keeping one for applying the paint and one for removing paint and cleaning up edges. As my drawing gets more detailed I drop down to smaller brushes. I do a lot of the drawing by eye, using the handle of my brush from time to time to double check my measurements. So far I'm only part way through the drybrush.
Dave's method is more meticulous. While we were waiting for our panels to arrive in the mail Dave drew a very accurate cartoon of his still life set up on paper. Once he had toned his canvas and allowed it to dry, he transferred the cartoon onto the canvas and proceeded to fill in the shadows with tone so that he would have a light dark pattern established. His drybrush is complete, so he's in the lead so far.