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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Painting Flowers in Oil

Specialities abound and not many artists
can claim to paint everything with equal skill.  Some painters
never attempt the figure or portrait, others shy away from
landscapes.  I would like to improve my
ability to portray flowers on canvas using oils.

To that end I dug out this classic book given to me by artist Charlie Velek.

I like Reid's method of painting as he is less concerned with painting every petal of a flower and more determined to capture its essence.  I like the feeling of a flower, or expressed in another way, I want you to believe I painted a flower but not because it was petal-perfect.  

I was satisfied here that the viewer could come close to identifing the blossoms but also that it left a feeling of a hastily arranged wildflower bouquet.  So I began to work on more.

This did not go quite as smoothly.  No idea whether it was the square format or the formality of the gerbera daisies.  I think a little of both as well as an anxiousness out of the gate.  Note that I was also painting from life, not a photo.  I find the former far more challenging as you tend to move your perspective.

With no garden flowers in sight I hit the grocery and came home with an orchid, believe me, if anything else had looked fresh I would not have tried such a difficult bunch.  But I kept it loose and light (high key, right?) and think it again worked out pretty well.

Not to waste a live model, I did this 5 x 7 next of just the blossoms.  I found it quite difficult to capture the "transparency" of delicate petals.  Not an award winner but not so awful either.  So I upped the ante by adding a bit of still life to the scene...

oh dear...
I think I was getting tired...the blossoms themselves are not bad but the cup leaves a lot to be desired. This is the challenge of painting a living scene, unlike a photo which freezes the objects in relation to each other (and to the viewer), in painting from life the artist runs the risk of looking at it from different angles.  Take out the cup and the pot looks ok; take out the pot and the cup is decent.  I'm just not sure they appear to be proportionate to each other or on the same plane.

No worries, there are more flowers (and cups and pots) in my painting future....and I know I will have to tackle roses very soon.  There is not a huge choice of live blossoms in the dead of winter.  

How do you feel about flower art: do you prefer photo-realistic or slightly impressionistic??

Feeling Floral,
p.s.  If you follow my ART FaceBook Page you have noticed that I am scooting around the country, oops...the world, traveling right now.  I'm watercoloring my way through the National Parks of Big Bend, TX, the souks of Marrakech, Morocco and the artifacts of Oxaca, Mexico.  All a painter's dream with sights, sounds and smells to be captured.  To maximize painting time I pre-filed some blogs ahead of time!  Thanks for noticing.  More on the trips soon.

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