I kept looking at the "finished painting" and knew there was something about it that I didn't like. It took me weeks to figure out that it was the vase. Instead of a vase, I had selected a small-necked bottle into which I had stuffed lots of daffodils. The end result was a pinched, constricted feeling. It made me uncomfortable...I kept wanting to fluff the flowers.
Scouring my still life "stuff" again for a blue vase, I found this pitcher that had been hiding in a dark corner where I had overlooked it when I originally set up the still life.
I photographed the painting, printed out several copies and went to work. With gouache (opaque watercolor), I painted the blue pitcher on a print, which I had adhered to a board. Then I cut some daffodils out of the other prints and arranged them. When I got them where I was satisfied, I made the changes on the painting.
To make it easier to compare, below is the painting before I changed it.
Notice that three daffodils remain in the same place. I moved and repainted three others and added one hanging over the blue pitcher. Now I am back to seven flowers...an odd number always being better than an even number. I also put cast shadows on the back apricots and put more shadows on the daffodils.
I took out some of the nandina because I thought there were too many spikes, and I added two daffodil leaves.
More and more as I paint I understand how much our choices influence the success or failure of a painting. It's all about composition.
I have also changed the title to "Daffodils and Apricots."
Monday, July 28, 2008
Signs of Spring, step 10