Sunday, February 21, 2016

Every Rose Has It's Thorn

Hello everyone.  I'm happy to be back to blogging after a crazy four weeks in which I painted five paintings!  As everyone knows, I am a pretty slow painter, so this was quite a feat.

The reason behind this craziness is that I got two artist calls for shows that I wanted to enter.  Usually, shows are pretty generic.  It will be a landscape show or a still life show and I always have something to enter.  This time the calls were for a travel and destinations show and a roses show.  They both came at the same time so I had no choice but to lock myself in the studio for a month and get to work.

Today I will show you the roses.  I always like to enter at least two paintings into a show as I feel there is just too much pressure with a single entry.  If the juror does not like it, you are out.  With two there is a better chance.  At least that is what I tell myself :)

I knew I would be under a time crunch with the roses, so before I even went to the flower shop, I got out two canvases and prepped them the best that I could.  I put in the background, the still life shelf and the vases for both paintings.  Of course, this is not the proper way to do a painting.  You should be working on the entire painting at once, but in this circumstance, I felt this would be the most efficient way to do things.

The first painting was a bouquet of orange and yellow roses in a glass vase.  The canvas is small, 9x12, so this was an easy painting to complete.  The painting just flowed off of my brush and I was done in two days.

The still life set up

  At the end of day one.  When the first day goes well, things usually go well for the rest of the painting.

Orange And Yellow Roses In A Glass Vase, 9x12, oil

This is the finished painting at the end of the second painting day.  I was so relieved that this one went well.  I usually take a day in between paintings just to have a fresh start, but I turned right around and began painting number two the next day.

Luckily, it was the Friday before Valentine's Day and a box of two dozen pink roses showed up at my house (a gift from my husband).  I immediately took those over to my studio and got to work.  Unfortunately, this painting did not go quite as smoothly.

I had the shape of my vase and the background already done, so it should have been a straightforward process to paint in the flowers, but it was tough from the beginning.

I think I ran into problems because this was really crunch time.  I'm better off when I can spend some time thinking about what I'm painting and work things out as I need to.  There was no time for that with this painting so I just had to keep moving.  The second problem is that roses are very hard to paint.  Flowers are my favorite thing to paint, but roses are so difficult for me that I rarely do them.

This was the first day.  Not horrible, but looking back I can see where my problem started.  I did not paint the shadows in a uniform fashion.  That is something that is second nature to me at this point, but with roses it can be very hard to see and I went down the rabbit hole for a time.

This is a photo of day three.  Sorry it is so dark.  I was painting during that crazy snow storm we had on Monday and it was very dark in the studio.  As you can see, the shadows are done correctly here so that made dealing with the flowers easier, but then I decided that there were problems with the vase!

If you look at Chinese blue and white porcelain, the colors are not as dark and thick as I have them here.  It should be much more subtle.  So what did I do at the end of day four?  Painted it out, of course!  Everyone in my studio thought I was nuts, but I just could not leave it knowing it was not right.

Here is the vase with the original pattern wiped out.  Also, as you can see in the photo above, I decided to add some more roses to the rest of the painting.  My original vision for this painting was an "explosion" of roses.  This isn't quite that, but the new additions really turned the painting around.  At this point all that was left to do was put in the pattern again and add some pink into the still life shelf.

Valentine's Day Roses, 16x20, oil

This is the finished painting.  I finished up the pattern Wednesday evening, then photographed it Thursday, and submitted both paintings on Friday.  I was so happy to be done!  Whether I get into the show or not, I'm very happy with how both of these paintings turned out.  In my next post I'll show you the travel paintings.  Happy Sunday, everybody!

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