Friday, February 22, 2019

White Gladiola

Following a long un-creative spell, I'm back in the studio. Today, I finished a 10" x 14" study of a stem of white gladiola blossoms, using this photo (left) taken several years ago as my reference.
As usual it was tempting to dwell on the details in this painting but I tried to quit while I was ahead. My goal was to try to capture the luminous quality of the blooms.
I used a limited palette for this painting; only three Winsor & Newton colors, all of them very useful for glazing:  Permanent Rose, New Gamboge, and Antwerp Blue. After doing a rough pencil outline, I completed the background so that the flower shapes would be well-defined. The background was done with thick brushfuls of pigment, small strokes at a time, letting the colors to blend on the paper. I then focused on glazing the shadows and highlights, using multiple layers thin washes which were allowed to dry completely before the next layer of glaze. I tried to leave much of the paper showing while also aiming for the depth that the shadows would provide. Unfortunately, I didn't take many photos as I was working fast. It's easy to forget that documenting the steps will make for a more interesting blog post! I'll try to do better with that next time...

Outline drawing
Background completed, which defines the blossoms

Close-up showing the glazing of shadows
More glazing of shadows

White Gladiola Blossoms
transparent watercolor on #140 paper    10" x 14"
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