Thursday, April 17, 2008

Signs of Spring, step 1

The setup with silk daffodils:


It is spring and my daffodils were ready to bloom. I like to paint an annual daffodil painting, often in a yellow and blue motif. I used silk daffodils to get a rough idea of how I wanted to plan it. I pulled some vases and pots from my still-life "closet," a scarf from a drawer, and, thinking in complements of blue and yellow, came up with the above arrangement.

The setup with real daffodils:


After I was fairly satisfied with the silk arrangement, I substituted the real daffodils, but not for the ones out of water. I had to be stingy with the flowers, since I didn't have many in the garden. I planned on painting the ones in the vase first, then I would take them out of water, and use them in the foreground.

Painting the daffodils:


I spent three sessions on these daffodils, which are now finished. And the daffodils are long gone. The photo above doesn't show them nearly as rich in color as the painting. I am aiming for a neutral blue-gray background to show off the colors. You can see by the differences from the setup photos to the painting photo, the reason an artist should never paint a still life from photos. The camera lightens the lights and darkens the darks so there is a tremendous and unrealistic contrast between the two.

Broken vases:

After the last session painting the daffodils, I returned to the studio the next morning and found the daffodils and the vases on the floor. The blue vase had it's neck broken off and the white one was broken in half. My darling cat Leo had apparently been challenged by the situation and gave it a "go." I have since repaired the vases and will resume work on this painting soon.

Sorry to say I lost last week due to a stomach virus.

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