Saturday, January 21, 2006

My learning journey

First painting (Sat 14 Jan 2006)
The flowers have been around for 4 days. Of the seven flowers, one disintegrated and the other one was limp. So I was left with this arrangment from the original in the photo in the previous post. When I started, I did what I have been taught - did a wash with a mix of alizarin and cadmium red. The wash dried pretty fast and then I did an outline of the flowers and the vase using less turpentine. Once the outline was established I laid the distintive colours on each of the main flowers and varied the otnes to give them some body. I started from the top of the canvas and did not really bother if I was able to include everything and when I found that the bottom of the vase was cut off, I did not fret over it as I thought it was more important to have the flowers stand out. I spent a whole Saturday afternoon painting.

2nd Painting (Sun 11 Jan 2006)
Gave the flowers more detail. Struggling to apply what I have learned about the shades, dark tones first, ligher tones after that and highlights last. I painted the two purplish flowers first. I mixed alizarin with cadmium red and ultramarine blue for that. For the orange flower I mixed Cadmium red and yellow. The most difficult flowers were the yellow ones. As I was painting these flowers, regret crept up as I really had a tough time trying to get the numerous tiny petals to show up. Just then I realised that these flowers are like mini sunflowers in structure. I wasn't sure how to paint the white flowers and just painted the yellowish centres just to see what happens. Nothing much of course but then I really didn't know how to paint them. These were small chrysantemums and I kind of figured out that since they were not the main flowers, I may not have to labour so hard to paint them. As a digression, I decided to do some preliminary work on the vase putting in the darker shades first and then painting the lighter ones over it.

3rd Painting (Wed 18 Jan 2005)
It was night time when I painted and it was done under flourescent lighting. Now I can appreciate why artists use special lamps - this I must find out more about. As can be seen, the effect of painting in artificial lighting is that the painting looks rather cold. I spent some time to touch up on the flowers trying again to make the petals of the yellow flowers stand out but not succeeding much. So I stared really hard at the petals and tried again. At this stage, they are really pathetic compared with the other three blooms. In this session, I tried various ways to make the flowers more realistic and and things got worse and so I went to drown my sorrows by slapping on thick white paint on the rest of the flowers and started to work on the vase which brought on a different frustration. My problem is always not being daring enough to make use of contrast to make things more 3-dimensional. The vase looks metallic at this point.
The stalk of flower behind the vase was purposely put there to show that by this time the flowers in the vase actually looked like this one.

4th Painting (Fri 19 Jan 2005)

Painting was done in the night again. By this time, only the white flowers were left and I decided to paint the laquer tray (ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and cadmium red and black) to prevent more meddling with the flowers. I decided to finish up on the vase. Am quite happy with the way the vase turned out after devoting a whole night to it.

The finale - yet to come!

1 comment:

Jeff Pioquinto,SJ said...

very artistic and wonderful.