I've been meaning to do a still life for some time, so today I ran out to the grocery store and got myself some nifty fruits. I made my selection based on color and texture. (For example, picking green grapes instead of red, to balance out the many red and orange objects.) Also, there's taste. I'm going to eat all of these, eventually.
One of the things I spotted among the aisles is what's called an "Ugli fruit". When I asked an employee how to tell if the fruit is ripe, he explained that the worse it looks the more ripe it is. An idea emerged.
Having obtained my materials, the next step was to photograph it. Today was perfect for photography, because the afternoon was somewhat overcast. To light the scene, I just turned out all the lights in the room and opened the blinds. I then set up the fruit, and took a couple dozen photos at different angles. Different angles convey different emotions, and create different flows of movement. Here's the one I finally settled on.
I made a few edits in PhotoShop: crop, tilt, and focus adjustment. Now, the last one wasn't done with a filter. I simply took two photos at that angle, (one with the background in focus, and one with the foreground in focus), and pasted the focused ugli fruit into the image with an in-focus background.
With that done, I just drew a quick sketch of the scene right into PhotoShop, and then added some basic colors to the fruit and background.
The real painting begins in Part 2.