Continuing on with my big May catch-up on posting work from the past few months. It was a gloomy winter day but one of the volunteer calla lilies was blooming and I had to paint it. This was a one-session alla prima oil painting.
I painted these from life, but first did a value sketch in Procreate to help me stay within the range of values I chose for the painting. That’s a concept I’ve been pondering: that you can design whatever value range you want for a painting, from mostly light to mostly dark, and then mix the paint colors accordingly. I printed out the Procreate value sketch and put it on my easel for reference as you can see in the work in progress photos below.
This was a quick little painting from life that happened spontaneously one afternoon when my tenant came out to my studio and presented me with some freesias in a vitamin bottle.
It might have been a more interesting painting if I’d a) included the lettering on the bottle and b) taken time to do a preliminary thumbnail sketch so that the flowers weren’t almost touching the top of the panel. I was interested in looking at white in shadow and gray in light and shadow and the colors found in both from the warmish light and flower reflections.
It was time to face something more cheerful than my own face in the studio. This pretty pot of begonias was just what I needed. I worked on them a bit at a time, between visits to my mother in hospice. My mom passed away very peacefully last week, in no pain and with family at her side. She taught me many things in life; her final and maybe most important lesson was how to let go and fearlessly accept this final passage with grace (and the help of amazing hospice nurses).
This painting is sold. Below are the steps in the progress of the painting.
After I did these two studies on one piece of Arches Oil Paper focusing on values (started with transparent earth color underpainting), I caught a nasty head cold. I feel super lousy and haven’t had the energy to paint but I’ve done a couple sketches, below.
Drawing helped take my mind off my sneezing and nose running like a river.
I think I made his hand too small. Here’s his photo on Sktchy:
I’m still trying to figure out sunflowers. I hate to quit before I’ve succeeded so decided to give it another try, continuing from the four attempts in my last post. Off I went in search of fresh sunflowers. After striking out at the first two shops, I decided that if they didn’t have any in the next store I would put an end to the sunflower project. But freedom was not yet mine; they had sunflowers.
Below are a couple steps in the process. This time I didn’t spend as long sketching or blocking in and I made a point of starting with darker tones which I think helped. I get fooled by the concept of “yellow” and have trouble really seeing how dark yellow can be in the shadows.
And believe it or not, I’ve started yet another sunflower painting that will be the last one for a while. I’m desperate to get back to portraits and a still life I have in mind.