Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Peonies Bianca"

"Peonies Bianca"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel
These peonies were at my girlfriends sisters house and just loved how the light was falling on it, of course they're not in season anymore and at the time I was able to capture the essence of these peonies with my camera phone.  I usually like painting from life which is always the best way to go in order to get truer colors, but these peonies which I forgot I had in my phone were just to good not to paint.  It's a challenge to try to paint these beautiful flowers from a photo, they have such subtle colors that can be lost in a photo but since I've painting white peonies before I knew what to look for.  The photo wasn't actually bad at all, I think it captured most of the colors and subtle transitions I was looking for.  I do not plan to make this a norm taking photos with my camera phone but for this painting I think it works just fine.  The background was another challenge I was not looking forward to, to do a complete black background in one session is pretty difficult.  Painting with pure ivory black can get muddy really quick when mixed with other colors, I had to be extra careful to not mix it with the rest of my palette.  Like in any painting there's always challenges, the key is figuring it out and making a successful work of art.  
I started with the usual dry brush approach for the drawing stage, just a bit of raw umber on the brush.  I didn't want to get to exact with the drawing since I am painting peonies and prefer to do so with the paints.  After the drawing is complete I started stating the general colors of the peonies, just laying down the middle value of each color, not worried about stating the lightest and darkest values.  The colors I used were cad.yellow, viridian, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre and titanium white.
Then I started to add some of the middle to darker values to give more depth to the peonies, I'm still not worried about details trying to get a feel of the peonies and its textures.  Then I state the background by just using ivory black, this is essential in order to get the right values stated in the peonies.  Then I go back into the peonies and adjust the middle values to the correct hue.  Since the background predominately covers the painting its important to state that in the beginning in order for the values to work well with each other.  
Then I start adding the lighter values to the peonies and take them to a finish.  As you can see in both stages I decided to work all of the peonies at the same time, I believe this method works well when painting these types of flowers.  They have such a unique characteristic when painting them I feel its better to work all of them at the same time.  Then I start stating the vase and stems, as you may see the vase blends in with the dark background the only thing you can see are the stems.  The colors I used for the vase and stems were ultramarine blue, viridian and cad.yellow light.  
Once the vase is complete I go back into the peonies and add any finishing touches it needs, which then I complete the painting.  I really like this painting and the challenges it gave me, to do it in one session was a bit daunting but glad I did it.  I hope you enjoyed this one, thanks for stopping by and viewing!

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