Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Flower Portrait"

($125.00.....6" x 6"......Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord.....floated on a linen mat in a custom frame)

"A single flower is a portrait of beauty." I don't think I've ever met anyone that doesn't like flowers. This one will not fade away and that's a comforting thought.

There was no reference photo for this flower, but I did have a small arrangement of white and lime green flowers in the studio. At first, I had seven flowers painted, but that didn't please me, so I swiped them off, added a bit more green to the background and decided on one larger flower. There was no need to paint the vase and every tiny detail of the flower. The gestural strokes in the painting are my goal. 

After smoothing out the background a bit, I did mix some dark and medium grays to lay down where the flower was to go. That helped establish some darks and give depth to a white flower. The strategy for what colors to lay down in sequence requires thinking through the whole painting and then working backwards. Also notice that the grays go from edge to edge vertically and horizontally which is an important part of dividing the space and establishing some strong shapes.

It probably would not have  worked as well in acrylics where the paint dries much faster. The wet into wet technique and a limited palette are the two things that bring it together and make it look convincing. The slight blending of colors when placing wet paint on top of wet paint is one of my attractions to oil paint.

If you're a lettering artist, there are more advantages to working in acrylic since you can prepare the surface for lettering with a variety of pens and gouache. Brush lettering would probably work okay in oils, but I haven't mastered anything I like yet, so I will continue to inscribe the lettering in the wet paint until I think of other ways. The inscriptions are really beginning to grow on me so I will simply wait and see what happens.  That's what practice and experimentation are all about. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

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