Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oil Painting Demonstration: Simple Geranium in Terracotta Pot

In a recent post I mentioned that I had taken some photos and written some notes while I was doing this particular painting, and here is the beginning. This is the first of three posts on this subject.

Here are my reference photos:

I use water based oil paints Winsor & Newton Artisan, which I love. I had to quit using the genuine oils and mediums because the fumes made me sick.

For this painting I’ll be using a fairly limited palette:

cadmium yellow
yellow ochre
cadmium red
permanent rose
ultramarine blue
burnt sienna
titanium white
ivory black

The support is 18x24x.75 gallery wrap canvas with staples on the back.

First step of course is the initial drawing on a lightly toned yellow ochre canvas. This will be my background color as well and will infuse the painting with light. With this subject, I’m basically doing a pretty loose sketch of the main shapes, with water-thinned yellow ochre to outline the subject and tabletop. Awareness of where the light is coming from is important at this stage:

I’ll fill in the background next and add some pronounced brushstrokes. I’m still thinking about the light and shadows, which adds interest, I think:

I’m not worried about accuracy here. Just getting the canvas covered. I’ll start by adding the darkest darks, which includes the plant shadow. One formula suggested for shadows is to always add a touch of blue to the main shadow color. I'm using my favorite #8 filbert:

I'll continue putting in basic shadow shapes and details on the leaves.

I welcome your comments. Until next time...

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