Friday, May 8, 2015

Fast and Loose II

Step 1
I've made some progress with the peony painting. Yesterday I assumed that I could do this quickly. Not so. After doing the first, splashy strokes that would define the highlights and shadows, I set the painting aside so that I could take my mother out to lunch. When I went back to my studio this morning, I knew this flower would demand multiple painting sessions (with time in between for drying).  I sometimes use a hairdryer to speed things along. But it helps to step away from the studio for a bit and do other things...  because when I return, my eye is refreshed and I'm better able to see what needs doing next. Step 1 shows where I stopped yesterday after about 30 minutes work with a #16 round brush. For the petals and shadows, I used Permanent Rose, French Ultramarine, Winsor Violet, and Permanent Orange.

Step 2
This morning I added a stem and a leaf to help with orientation (Step 2). I've seen beautifully rendered, close-focus peony paintings -- and I've seen some that look a bit like wads of crumpled tissue paper. So I include a bit of greenery to help define the subject. The foliage was done with Hooker's Green, Shadow Green, French Ultramarine, and Aureolin.

The muted background is shaded from light to dark (Steps 3 and 4). It was painted with a mix of Shadow Green, Winsor Violet, and French Ultramarine. The darker background area on the right (Step 3) was done with two applications of wash, wet-on-dry. 
The predominant color in this darker section of wash is Winsor Violet. 

Steps 4 shows the left background, done with a single wash. I used more blue and green in this wash, to keep it greyed down and neutral. A final glaze of a thin wash evens out the texture.  See the finished painting, "Blossom Dearie," here. It sold almost immediately, so it no longer available... but I'll be completing another, similar painting soon.
Step 3
Step 4

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