Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 13: Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem

Week 13 - end of day
{copy of Vase of Flowers}


Yesterday was a fun day at the NGA, I missed being there last week however feel it was good to have some breathing room. Seeing the status of the entire painting is fun to observe, so much has changed in the last several weeks, yesterday was my thirteenth time working on this project.

Slowing down and being comfortable to work on only small portions of the composition each time I am in the gallery has been a big breakthrough for me. By being willing to slow down and only setting small goals for each day I have found that I am still moving along at a good pace.

week 13 - beginning of day
{beginning of day status}

For this week I chose to only focus on the red and white poppy and the central tulip. By limiting my goal for the day I was able to establish a plan of action and to work towards the portions that were important, re-wetting the paint surface in areas that required wet-in-wet work and leaving other areas dry where the desire to have a hard firm edge was prefered.

{end of day status}

By the end of the day I was pleased to realize that more than just the two flowers had been worked on and refined to a near finished level. I was also able to finish the pea pods and the greenery below the orange daisy, while beginning the first block in of the red flower directly below the tulip.

I have learned that the general massing in I did at the beginning of this project was helpful for getting the entire composition scaled to the size of the canvas, however now that I am working to a finer level it is important to then go back into the area and re-establish the massing and basic block in. I do this with a thinned "lean" paint and then let it dry over the week before returning to refine it further with a "fatter" layer of paint. By setting up the proportional block in with a thinned paint and then later going back over it with a fatter layer of paint I am using the "fat over lean" technique to hopefully control any chance of future cracking.

If you observe closely the area below the central tulip you will see the flat-ish block in of a snail and the red flower with its dark green leaves. These items were blocked in with a thinned layer making room for next week when I return to refine that portion of the painting and also refine the outer tulip with the yellow butterfly.

Thanks for stopping by and being part of this project, I appreciate it :)



Debbie said...

I have been following your progress with this painting and I am amazed! It is coming along so beautifully and I admire the way you are able to plan your focus each session. It would be easy to become overwhelmed with all the elements in this painting!

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Thanks Debbie! I think breaking it down into little steps is what makes it possible to keep going, because it can get overwhelming!