Personal Object Still Life: Chocolates

Belgium Chocolates

I recently went on an individual trip to Belgium for a short internship stint and holiday. The trip was extremely eye-opening, I had the opportunity to stay with a Belgium family and also experience living like the local. I was extremely grateful for the level of hospitality my hosts displayed. From showing me around their beautiful city, to helping me with the basics of French/ Flemish and to making sure I was well fed, and welcoming me to their houses with open arms. I felt very much at home.

Belgium is famous for their chocolate, and they made sure I tried chocolates from the most renowned stores in the city. The chocolate shops themselves were a remarkable sight, decorated with classic European furniture and smelling of freshly prepared chocolate, it felt as it I were in movie set up. Uncle Edward (my very generous host that I’m so grateful for), decided to buy a box of chocolates at every store just so that I could try every flavour (or most) they had.

You can surely tell from the craftsmanship of each chocolate that immense effort was taken for it’s production. Each piece of chocolate was sculptured to perfection, some taking the shapes of animals (cute!), whereas others resembling famous landmarks in town. When I sank my teeth in, I was delighted that they tasted just as good as they looked. The salted caramel praline was the perfect combination of sweet and savoury and the chocolate coating in contrast to the crunchy nutty bits was rich in flavour. Every piece was extremely memorable in both design and flavour. However, one shop topped the scale, and that is none other than Leonida’s Chocolates. It is definitely a must try!

I haven’t painted in a couple of years prior to our first class, and I was quite worried I chose the wrong “object” because fine detailing and contrast are important in order for the chocolates to stand out. However, I’ve always wanted to paint food and saw this as the perfect opportunity to try something out of my comfort zone. Acrylic was a tough medium and it took some time to get used to. Getting the details out was difficult, and I feel that a lot of it has to do with the right brushes. The trick to making the painting look more realistic is the white highlights! (< my favourite part) I’ve also learnt to be patient with “layering” paint, applying only when the base coat is dry, to not smudge the colours.