Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 21: Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem

{week 21: end of the day}


We are now on the home stretch of completing this painting! Yah!

Today I returned to the NGA to work on the copy and it was a a bit difficult to decide where to focus as all the main flowers and areas have had a least one pass over. So instead I decided to jump around the painting focusing on areas that need attention.

Areas worked on today include the orange flower below the hydrangea, which will get an orange glaze applied to it next week. {I made it lighter this week so when the glaze goes on it has some room to darken a bit.} The wheat stalk that falls down in front {this still needs some work}, and misc. items that dot the canvas like water droplets, insects, and highlights.

Friday, February 25, 2011

WIP {Oriental Lilies}

WIP Lilies Painting 18x14 20110225
{work in progress - Oriental Lilies}


I am still working on this still life that was begun in January. Some paintings come to fruition with greater ease than others. With this painting I have been experimenting some, and with some experiments they land you in a pickle! Sigh. The last time I worked on this painting I made a real mess of it because I was trying out different colors for the background, playing with layers of paint and seeing how they combine. It is only paint but sometimes it takes awhile to figure out how to dig out.

When this happens to me, I end up hanging the problem child on our living room wall so I can observe it under different lighting conditions and moods. This gives me time to pause and contemplate what I want to achieve.

After about five days, I understood enough to start tackling the issues and move forward. {I did not take a photo of this phase, it is better for that period to be part of the past and not saved for future viewing...}

A few things I have decided to do:
. simplify the composition some.
. work on the main grouping of lilies and the larger glass bottles that appear in the background. Once these are pretty much laid in and resolved, I will then add a few more flowers to the front of the composition and then unify the composition.
. switch between sable and bristle brushes more often to vary the paint texture. Initally I was painting only with sable brushes like my NGA copy.

I am now feeling hopeful about this painting. It has been my main focus this week and will probably be the main focus of the weekend, and I anticipate that it will still be several weeks before it is completed. However now that I have overcome the initial hump, I am becoming attached to this painting more and more because it has requiring so much contemplation and problem solving. Two aspects I love about the creative process of painting.

Until the next time, have a wonderful weekend! And thank you for stopping by and reading.


PS. have you seen this video of Daniel Sprick? I watched it earlier this week and @10:23 where he shares how every piece of the painting must work out and how there are timese when something in the painting that should take one day to complete will take him a whole week to work out has been replaying in my mind since then. Hearing this reinforces the idea that even accomplished artists like Daniel Sprick also go through similar experiences when creating art as I experience.

Monday, February 21, 2011

{a new small painting}

20110213 daffodils bowl and bottle 6x6
Still Life with Daffodils, Bowl, and Bottle
{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on gessoed masonite panel}  SOLD

Happy President's Day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pink Lily {a new small painting}

20110206 Pink Lily 6x6
Pink Lily
{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}  SOLD

Lately I have been focusing so much on minute detail and almost exclusively using sable brushes that for this painting I wanted to loosen up some. With this pianting I only worked with bristle brushes. It was nice to just infer some details and let the mind do the rest.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Week 20: Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem

{end of day status}


On Monday I was back at the gallery working on the copy of the Vase of Flowers. The day was filled with fine tuning the area around the glass vase and laying in the window reflection, the main highlight in the glass vase.

{beginning of day}

Typically when I begin the day I will rub a thin layer of linseed oil to re-wet the surface, this makes the new paint meld with the previous layers with a softer effect than painting directly onto a dry canvas.

This Monday I learned that there are times when you want a dry surface to apply paint onto, so I ended up having to wipe down the area of the window reflection where I had at first spread a the linseed oil. A dry spot is particularly important when you are starting off with a pretty wet paint, that is pigment that already has a large quantity of medium mixed into it, because once this wet paint touches the already thin layer of linseed oil the edges spread and start to diffuse. Something that is typcially a good thing but I needed a strong defining edge in this situation.

{phase 1 of window reflection}

The first layer of the window reflection was a thinned zinc white with some blue and burnt sienna mixed to take the "whiteness" down some. Zinc white is the most transparent white available.

{phase 2 of window reflection}

Later I switched to cremnitz white mixed with medium, it is a more opaque white and has a little more body.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Freesias {a new small painting}

20110205 Fressia bottle and bowl 6x6
Still Life with Freesias, Bottle, and Bowl - SOLD
{6" x 6" (15.2 x 15.2 cm) – oil on masonite panel}

This painting was completed on a gessoed masonite panel, so it had a smooth and slick surface that made for luscious brushstrokes.

UPDATE: This painting was accepted into the Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared Spring Exhibition

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yellow Tulips {a new small painting}

20110204 yellow tulips on a shelf 5x7
Yellow Tulips on a Shelf
{5" x 7" (12.7 x 17.8 cm) – oil on canvas panel}

More tulips, I think my favorite flower at the moment!

Painting yellow tulips was a bit of a challenge because the petals are so transparent, the insides went from a violet to viridian to a rosy orange in places.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week 19: Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem

week 18: end of day
{end of day status}


This is where I am on this painting, after spending so much time on it and seeing that the majority of the painting is complete I am having a hard time not rushing to the finish line... However I do not want to rush the experience and to make sure that the majority of the details are included, especially the ants and insects! It would be a shame to short cut the final stage.

For this week's visit I focused mainly on finishing the red poppy and fine tuning the black berries and immediate surrounding area.

week 18: beginning of day
{beginning of day detail}

week 18: mid-day

week 18: end of day detail
{end of day}

Next week the butterfly and the blackberries will get some additional attention. Then I will begin working on the highlights and reflections in the glass vase and the little flowers and misc details that fill up this area.

{detail of the original painting}

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two Tulips {a new small painting}

20110123 two tulips 8x6
Two Tulips, Best Buddies
{8" x 6" (20.3 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}

All these small floral paintings are painted from life, usually completed in one session. Typically each session takes 2-3 hours to complete and the amazing thing about painting flowers from life is that they have a tendancy to change between the initial block in and completing the final touches.

With this painting the outer most left leaf was originally standing tall, but by the time I focused my sole attention on it, the leaf had curled down and would not be coaxed back to a vertical position. Making it look like the taller tulip is supporting, almost embracing the other tulip.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WIP {a new floral painting}

WIP lilies ptg
{third session - mid-day point}

Today was spent in the studio working on this painting. I began it a few weeks ago and I have been letting it sit on the easel while I figure out how to go forward. Finally after about a week of contemplating how to tackle the sequencing I am now ready to get back into the game and start painting.

The major thing thathat has made this a difficult painting to proceed rapidly is the very smooth surface of the linen. Because of the smooth surface the first layer of paint must set up and dry before I can apply subsequent layers. Once the first layers are down and they have dried it is much more easy to apply the next layers of paint, which is helpful because I paint wet into wet and use the underlayers when painting.

The original flowers that were blocked in on the first day are no longer around, instead I am using new flowers to cue for color and working from a photo for the shape and form of the flowers. So far it is working.

I beleive this will be a long project to complete because of all the effects of the glass bottles, so I will occasionally share an update of progress as I go along.

Have a nice evening and thanks for stopping by, Liz

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Three Tulips {a new small painting}

20110117 red and yellow tulips
Three Tulips
{8" x 6" (20.3 x 15.2 cm) – oil on linen panel}

Here is another small painting completed in January. I am loving how tulips continue to grow after you get them.

Also I wanted to share this really cool link that a friend recently sent me, the art project powered by Google. There are so many cool links and the opportunity to zoom into some pretty amazing paintings. So if you are not near a museum that offers a copyist program you could easily copy from these high resolution images!