Thursday, June 13, 2013


  The peonies are done!  After nearly going crazy with them on Tuesday, yesterday everything went very smoothly and I unexpectedly finished the painting.  Here is the original set up.

I started out by blocking in the placement of the vase and flowers.

I use a mix of ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide to do the block in.  As you can see, it is very simple.  Just enough to get the placement of the objects before the actual painting begins.  

Next I put in the background.  This is a great method I learned from Gregg and I plan to do a whole post on it in the future.  

Then the fun starts.  I started painting in the flowers and put a coat of white over the vase, just to get the whole canvas covered up.  

This is where things got tricky.  I ended up changing the floral set up a few times until it looked good on the canvas.  Of course, that meant that I had to wipe out the flowers multiple times so that they corresponded with the set up.  I'm telling you, these peonies drove me nuts.  I literally had to lie down after working on them all day Tuesday.

Yesterday I figured I was in for more of the same, but the stars finally aligned and I finished up the entire painting in just a couple of hours!  I decided to ignore the flowers and just work on the vase.  That got me going and I realized I only needed to change out one flower.  After that I just had to darken up some shadows and add in the blue pattern.  

And here is a shot of the finished painting.  I took this with my iPhone very late in the day so the lighting is not ideal, but since it is going to be quite some time before it is varnished and photographed (due to the fact that the flowers have about fifty coats of paint on them), I figured I would take a shot now so you guys could see the finished painting.

I considered spending some more time on this, but realized that I was getting dangerously close to what Gregg calls "don't blow it" territory.  You know that thing that happens when everything is good and then you make one stroke too many and then you have to redo the whole painting?  I did not want that to happen so I quickly signed it and declared it done.  (Blogger reversed the signed and unsigned paintings and I could not get it back.  Sorry about that). 

Next up, finish up the still life and then it's on to the hydrangeas.  One down, two to go!

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