This was a fun two afternoon painting. Below are the steps in the work in progress and photo of the setup. This was painted about a year after my mother passed away. It’s poignant to be painting some of her special glassware.
Stealing Roses Again
There’s a mysterious house on my block that has been empty but well maintained for several years. The mailman delivers mail and the gardening service keeps things nice and neat but I never see anyone go in or out.
Their roses and fruit trees are blooming but there’s nobody home to enjoy them. So I stopped by with my scissors to give the roses a little respect by painting them, even if it means stealing them (as I’ve done before). These were yummy fun to paint!
If we don’t get a real fall or winter this year, maybe I can just draw fall and winter colors in my sketchbook? I got inspired by Apple-Pine’s persimmon sketching obsession to sketch (and eat) some persimmons of my own.
I really like the way this page turned out with the gold pen over the purple paint on the bottom that I originally added to correct a drawing/design problem, and the way the shadow (from something else on the table) kind of looks like a big number one.
It was over 70 degrees F today and my roses are so confused. Earlier this week we had a brief shower and a bit of cold but otherwise, it’s still not winter. I know: be careful what you wish for!
After all the struggles of the previous day, I was determined to succeed in painting a rose and decided to give myself a break. First I rearranged the colors in the palette, putting them in my prefered, mostly color-wheel order instead of helter skelter as they were, and replaced several colors (see below for color chart).
(WN=Winsor Newton, S=Schmincke, DS= Daniel Smith, H=Holbein):
Top Row: WN Transparent Yellow, S Cadmium Yellow Light, DS New Gamboge, S Cadmium Red Light, WN Permanent Alizarin, WN Permanent Rose.
Middle Row: WN Violet, S Ultramarine, WN Cobalt Blue, H Cerulean Blue, WN Winsor Blue, DS Indanthrone Blue.
Bottom Row: S Thalo Green, WN Sap Green, S Yellow Ochre, WN Burnt Sienna, DS Indigo, S Titanium White (the latter will probably be removed since I’ve never successfully been able to incorporate white into watercolors).
The other thing I did to give myself a break was that after I made the second to last rose sketch above from life, I decided to work from a photo of the rose.
On the next test run of my new Schmincke palette that Roz introduced here, I painted some roses on a tablecloth in the sun on the deck. While the Schmincke pan paint is lovely to use, and the palette a good size and design, the colors frustrated me. Their version of rose called Permanent Carmine (PV19) is much redder than the Winsor Newton (PV19) Permanent Rose I rely on for pinks and several other colors didn’t appeal to me.
In the color chart below, the top and bottom rows are the original Schmincke colors that came with the set. I added the colors in the center row by filling empty half-pans from tube paint in the space designed for adding extra pans.
The colors (abbreviated above) are:
Blowsy. [Adjective: (of a woman) Coarse, untidy, and red-faced.] That’s just what these roses were when I picked them from my poor neglected rose bush: brightly colored but messy and past their prime; yet they were just fine as my model.
It seems like once I gave myself permission to work on a painting as long as I wanted to, I’ve started being able to finish them more quickly. And it’s not just the small size; I’ve spent hours and days on other 6×6″ paintings in the past.
It could have gone even more quickly than the three hours I spent on it, had I left some of my earliest brushstrokes alone. I just find it hard to believe they were right the first time, even though that was my goal with this painting: to put down the right strokes with the right color, temperature and value and then leave them alone. (Or scrape off the stroke immediately if it’s wrong and replace it with the “right” one, rather than adding more and more paint, which eventually leads to making mud.)
I also tried to focus on using warm and cool colors to shape the form, along with the dark and light values. I’d also like to cite my inspiration for this painting, Kathryn Townsend, whose flower paintings mesmerize me.
Strauss Family Creamery is a Marin County dairy that produces organic dairy products served in old-fashioned glass bottles from happy cows that graze on sweet grass in the hills by the sea. I enjoy their bottles as much as their cream in my coffee.
I started this painting with a goal to complete it from life in one 3-hour session, as so many plein air artists and daily painters do. I had somehow come to believe that I “should” be painting that way too. But while I met my time goal, I didn’t like the results (see original version below). And that’s when I finally accepted that it’s better to take as much time as a painting needs, and relax and enjoy the process rather than try to rush to keep up with someone else’s “rules.”
If you’re interested in seeing how I got here from there, click “keep reading” and stick around.