Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Viviane's Roses

Viviane's Roses, gouache on Arches 300 c/p, 2.5" x 3.5" 
I haven't painted a lot recently, having become involved in a family genealogy project that has sapped all my time, but I recently realized that I needed to do something that wouldn't involve mousing around. The ache between my shoulder blades often reminds me that I've become too compulsive! Treatment is a delight: I sit at the dining table with my box of paints and while away a day in a completely different posture and mindset. It's very refreshing.

The entire time I painted this little one, I kept reminding myself to just have some fun. When I'm out of practice, my paintings get somewhat more realistic, mostly because I have to prove something about my ability to paint what's there. I'm not free and easy and open with strokes and mixtures and the like until I've consistently practiced for a while. But for a realistic piece, this one is pretty relaxed and I really like it. A Facebook friend said it looks Victorian. I agree, but I can't quite put my finger on the reason why. The photo I used, on loan from a friend, was a lot less structured. I added the suggestion of a vase.

Favorite part: The star of the show rose at the bottom pleases me. I painted the flowers in three stages: medium, dark and light. I particularly like the juicy pink petal at the bottom, as it catches the light and comes forward nicely. Sometimes thicker paint is useful that way.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Complementary Bouquet

Complementary Bouquet, 3" x 3" on mystery paper
Do you ever forget about a painting? I painted this a month ago and recently rediscovered it under the pile of papers used to flatten it. I don't know why I didn't post it. I've had it set it up on the table next to my computer to view for the last few days. It pleases me.

The paper is a mystery. It's some I stashed away a while ago, so the brand is lost in time. I can't say I really like it very well. It's lightweight and has a texture that's too large-scale for the work I do. If I use a textured paper I like it to be fine textured enough to make the painting appear to be much larger, not dwafing the strokes too much.

But I like the color stucture and contrast here. I scratched out the stems with the handle of a paintbrush, which worked pretty well. Sometimes the direct approach is best.

Favorite part: The two long, arched white flowers leaning out of the composition on the right-hand side. They balance rest of the bouquet. Square compositions have some challenges, especially when the subject fills the page this way. Balance is the key to success, I think.