Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Fuchsia Peonies"

"Fuchsia Peonies"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
I wanted to mention that today is the one year anniversary of winning the Daily Painters contest, cannot thank all of you enough for making that happen.  It has been such a blessing in winning that competition and just every moment after that, it was one of the toughest times in waiting to see if I would win or not and glad it went the way it did.  Apart from the contest I've painted so much more prior to it, its taught me so much discipline and shown me how much fun one can have painting these little gems every day.  I enjoy the concept of discipling oneself to paint for a certain time of the day everyday (if you can), sounds so simple but yet it can be very complicated depending on one's schedule.  Not only they're fun to paint but they've taught me so much outside of the schooling I've had, to paint in a consistent manner every day you get to learn from your mistakes and try so many different approaches to your technique.  I thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to push themselves to that next level.  I think of it as sketching in your sketchbook every day you do it because it warms you up and it gets you better, the more you practice the better you'll get.  These alla prima's have been a blessing to me and truly feel so lucky to be able to get up every morning and paint these jewels.
    These peonies where a lot of fun to paint, I especially like the arrangement in composing them on the canvas.  The color pattern and fall of light on the peonies where just to good not to paint, as stated in the previous post when I painted another batch of peonies they can be very challenging to paint.  Aside from the challenges, it was a lot of fun playing with different textures and impastos.  I also enjoyed playing with the composition and getting the right movement that I can through out the picture.  Painting the bright fuchsia colors was a bit challenging as well, a beautiful color all around though.  Peonies are such beautiful flowers to paint and enjoyed every bit of it, I hope to do more of these in the future.
I started with the usual dry brush approach using no mediums and a bit of raw umber on the brush, I kept the drawing pretty loose since painting flowers you can only go so far with the drawing.  I believe in certain flower paintings you concentrate on the drawing more when you paint it rather in the initial drawing stage.  Then for the next stage I decided to lay in all the general colors at once, from background to peonies and the leaves.  Reason I did that is to get a general feel of the overall color pattern since there is so much going on in the painting, it would be hard to imagine it one stage at a time. I keep the paints rather thin in this stage so I can easily build upon it in thick passages if need be.  
Then I concentrate on the fuchsia peonies first starting with the darker values and stating their specific forms.  Then I add the lighter values and their specific forms, I keep jumping back and forth and adjusting the values to look right for the finish.  The colors I used for the for the fuchsia peonies are quinacridone magenta, titanium white, ultramarine blue, ivory black, and titanium white.
I used the same color palette in the middle peonies, I started again with the middle to darker values and their specific forms.  Then I added the lighter values and their specific forms, I didn't take it to a finish yet I wanted to add the rest of the painting and come back to it.  There's enough paint on there where it won't dry in certain spots it'll stay wet for a while.
Then I stated the white peonies with the middle and darker values, stating their specific forms as well.  Then I added the lighter values and their specific forms, I kept jumping around and adjusting the values to the right look I was going for.  The colors I used where cadmium yellow, titanium white, ultramarine blue, quinacridone magenta and raw umber.
Then I stated the leaves and their whimsical shapes, the colors I used where ultramarine blue, cad.yellow, yellow ochre and ivory black.  After finishing the leaves I was able to go back to the middle fuchsia peonies and soften more of its edges and adjust its values, doing so I was able to take that area to a finish.  I was also able to add thicker impastos in the lighter peonies, those areas where so much fun to paint to let the paint do its job and not really manipulate it was great.  I always enjoy the impasto areas you get to be gestural and really get beautiful textures with the paints.  Overall had a lot of fun with this painting and really happy with the outcome, thanks for stopping by and viewing hope you enjoyed! 


Debbie said...

I can't believe it's been a year already since the contest! I've enjoyed your paintings and appreciate your detailed descriptions of your process. The Peonies are beautiful! Keep up the great work :-)

Kimberly Vanlandingham said...

These are beautiful and I can see why you won. Your work is amazing!

Janet Paden said...

Congratulations Jonathan. I am sure that winning the award has really "Lit a fire" for you to paint even more and better! And you do a fantastic job. Thank you for posting your progression as you paint a picture. I love seeing that.

Moniki Moraes said...

Hi, Jonathan. Your paintings are amazing. Just beautiful. Reminds me Pierre-Joseph Redouté.