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Up until a few months ago Lois Eakin was a graphic design manager—now she paints full-time, in a rich and beautifully realistic style that hearkens back to the 17th century Dutch masters of still life painting.

Many of Lois’s paintings also exemplify the art technique known as chiaroscuro.

In Red Vase and Orange, for example, Lois used the intense contrast of a white cloth against a dark background to create a focal point—drawing attention directly to the reflective red vase and fruit surrounding it.

Red Vase and Orange by Lois Eakin

And if that weren’t enough, the circular shape of the cloth and the triangular arrangement of leaves create a “frame-within-a-frame” for even more emphasis.

Not all of Lois’s paintings use a dark background, however, like Fancy Fruit, below.

Fancy Fruit by Lois Eakin

I really love the detail work in this piece—the lace pattern especially, but even the tiny dots near the bottom of the painting are wonderful.

Lois’s composition is perfect too. Notice how she’s split the canvas horizontally in fairly equal thirds (one section for the fruit, one for the lace detail, and another for the remainder of the cloth) which gives a nice balance to the piece overall.

SEE MORE: Still life oil paintings for sale at NUMA Gallery

That hem at the bottom also works as a barrier to keep your eyes within the painting. Mine were continually moving, traveling from the colorful fruit at the top, down to the the bottom of the painting, resting there, and then heading back up again along the colder blue shadow of the cloth.

My favorite painting, however, of all her work, was this one entitled Time Gone By.

Time Gone By by Lois Eakin

There’s a wonderful deep red color running throughout the painting—in the onions, the wood at the bottom of the painting, the books. . . even in that old metal pitcher.

It’s subtle, but that single color ties the entire piece together, bringing unity to each of the objects scattered ever-so-carefully around those gloriously blooming hydrangeas.

For more of Lois Eakin’s paintings, please visit her online portfolio at LoisEakin.com.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

Priscilla Treacy is an art teacher, painter, and printmaker from Virginia who has just recently started her own painting-a-day blog in March of 2008. Unlike some daily painters, Priscilla's work spans several mediums including pastel, gouache, drypoint etching, graphite drawings and monotype prints. Here's just one of her monotype. . . read more

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