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Violin, 2017, 41 x 61cm, oil on canvas

A few weeks ago, a student of mine brought in her violin to paint as a still life. As the instrument was a splendid Degani, I joined her and painted it myself. I remember some artist telling me that in the early days of oil painting it was considered a mark of a master if an artist could paint a lute realistically (violins were yet to be invented). Well, the drawing of the violin was difficult enough and I needed quite a bit of adjusting and readjusting of the various parts (fingerboard, scroll, upper bout, lower bout, waist and tailpiece) in my painting to make the instrument look symmetrical and thus playable. To produce a believable effect of polished wood I used a number of reddish glazes to give a sheen to the main body of the violin. My student, who is a very talented violinist was satisfied with my rendering of her violin but I have yet to see if the painting would pass muster with a luthier.


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