Flacons of Frankincense

Flacons of Frankincense
Riva Brown Warecolor


I picture Cleopatra, or Pharaoh Hatshepsut (the only known female Pharaoh) reaching out to remove the stopper from one of these perfume bottles. Or maybe her slave will be doing that for her.

The Technical Challenge

I struggled to find the right fabric to balance these bottles. I took a picture of the bottles with me to the fabric store and kept looking at it trying to decide on the exact perfect one. How to balance the soft dull matte of the bottles against the half-shiny Paisley fabric. How much detail do you include? Enough to tell the story of folds and Paisley, but not enough to tell every detail.

It's easy to see that this might have been a very different painting, depending on what fabric eventually got selected. At some point I decided to simplify the number of objects included. I kept the White on White background