Finished oil painting

Oil on canvas panel, 8×6″ (larger)

I’m happy to report that my computer is back up and running but I lost a couple months of email messages in the crash.
If I haven’t responded to an important message you sent me, please send it again and I’ll reply quickly.

Early last week my boss gave me this charming little pot of “Spring Brite Mini Bulb” daffodils for me. I couldn’t wait for the weekend so I could it home and paint it. I experimented with using a palette/painting knife. It’s so much fun — a lot like sketching in that you can work quickly, easily replace colors, add to them, or scrape off and re-do sections or the whole composition. It also forces you to be less concerned with details (at least at my level of skill in handling the palette knife). I used a small diamond-shaped knife for this.

Below is a progression of my steps, working backwards: (click Continue Reading to see the rest)

Below is the first blocking in of the main shapes with paint. I changed the composition after I realized that I’d made the two bottom sections exactly equal in size and shape (oops).

First block in with oil paint

Below is my original drawing (which you can barely see) in light blue pastel pencil which I then sketched over with a brush and thinned paint once I got it the way I wanted it. Light blue pastel pencil is very handy for sketching under an oil painting because 1) it’s totally erasable until you get it right, and 2) pastel is basically just the pigment in oil paint, so it doesn’t make a mess the way charcoal or pencil does when you add paint. I’m finding that it’s easier to draw at an easel with a brush than pencils though.

Initial drawing of Daffodill still life

I was working from life; below is a photo of the still life set up. I had a bright light shining in from the upper right (though it’s not obvious from the photo). I wanted to get the whole image — vase, flower, blue velvet cloth — in the painting but I couldn’t find a way to do it on the little canvas panel I was using. If the flowers hold up another day I’ll try again tomorrow, and see if I can get it all in a painting.

Daffodil still life set up

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Category:
Art theory, Drawing, Flower Art, Oil Painting, Painting, Plants, Still Life

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. Beautiful, Jana! The rich yellows — buttery and so springlike!! I love the pot too and the treatment of it in your painting!

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  2. Welcome back! Hope everything is good with your computer now. I enjoyed this post, and your painting. The fun of this one comes shining through ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. This is a beautiful painting! I, too, love the rich, warm yellow colors. It seems that, perhaps, life without a computer isn’t so bad after all!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  4. What a wonderful paining – I love daffodils! Looks like your good karma has finally returned ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  5. Jana, this is EXCELLENT! I love the texture that oil gives to a painting and using the pallet knife just adds to it!

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  6. ah, yes! With the knife, you’ve added some texture without losing the colours’ intensity.

    It is so easy for a non-painter to see someone’s progress without doing the “i would have done this /that” critique. We non-painters just see what our eye likes!

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  7. Jana, simply stunning, such depth and light – it is a sculpture within paint!

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  8. Absolutely brilliant…….. I love it. This is what I’d love to accomplish. Congratulation’s on getting your computer back running. Don’t you just hate these darn computer problems?

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  9. beautiful painting, rich textures!
    If you use Outlook, try to export your e-mail messages as a “PST” file that you can import later, dated like “xxxdate-1 to xxy date-2.pst”. But then, You may be using “mail” from Apple? I do that every few months.

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  10. Amazing, and I love to see all the steps this way. What a delightful painting.

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  11. Beautiful painting – and thank you for sharing the steps along the way!

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  12. this is my favorite of the daffodils so far.

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  13. wow. i love your palette knife painting. I ususally don’t like alot of texture in my own paintings, but this looks so great, maybe I should give it a try. Great job! It’s so full of energy.

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