Alla Prima Primroses

Alla prima primroses oil painting by Michele Clamp

Alla prima primroses were the subject for oil painting today. A very complicated subject and an exhausting painting session. Almost 6 hours to get this to an almost finished state. This was done as part of a Paul Foxton workshop and this was the final subject.

Mixing colors Takes Time

I spent a good portion of the time just mixing the colors. It took around 1.5 hours to mix up colors for the light and shadow sides of the flowers, the leaves, the teapot and the background colors. I dialled back the chroma quite a bit from last week’s study as I thought the yellow flowers were too bright. Definitely a good decision.

Small Oil Study

Here is the study for reference:

Alla prima primroses oil study
Alla prima primroses oil study

This was an 8×10 study and was blocked in quite quickly and with only a little drawing. I thought it came out well but wanted a slightly quieter feel to it. I also went larger – 11″x15″ for the final thing. It’s a busy subject and needed a bit more elbow room so took the plunge and went larger. This is always a bit of a risk as relationships can take on more or less impact as you scale up or down.

In Progress Shot

Here is the painting part way through. We spent quite a bit of time on the central 3 flowers. These are the main stars of the show and we wanted to make sure we had the values nailed down here. I think they just about work. Yellow flowers are always tricky especially the shadow colors. We also made sure the values of the teapot were better than the study. The white of the spout in the shadow is really quite dark and we wanted to ensure it really looked like it was in shadow.

alla prima primroses - progress shot
alla prima primroses – progress shot

Alla Prima Primroses – Studio Shot

oil painting station studio shot
oil painting station studio shot

This is a shot of my easel in the studio. Some people have asked whether I have trouble with distorted drawing as I have my board at an angle. To be honest I keep it like that as I mostly work in watercolor and I’m used to it. I do stand up a lot and I don’t think I get any distortion from the angle. One day I’ll try the vertical easel and see how that feels.

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