It’s session 5 already! And we’re now onto putting some detail into the roses. We worked on the two main roses and it is extremely tricky. I think I’m happy right now but I’ll take another look tomorrow. I just about kept the form without losing value in the shadows or gaining it in the lights. And the inside curled petals just about came together.
Here’s where I started – all smooshed edges
We first worked on the big left hand rose. Sharpening up some edges and leaving others loosely defined
Then the right hand rose which was trickier but just about kept together.
We planted three David Austin rose bushes this year. Our track record with plants is hit or miss to put it generously so I was pretty pleased that they all flowered albeit sparsely and with tiny blooms. However – these are our own roses grown by our own fair hands. I don’t think this is quite finished yet. I need to leave it on the easel and see what it needs in the next couple of days. I’m pretty happy at the moment though. The values are good, the edges have a nice variety to them and they have some life.
Here are some intermediates:
This is the block in stage with the major values. Pretty much 2 or 3 for each flower, 2 for the leaves and 2 for the background. All hard edges right now and it looks pretty nasty.
All the edges are now softened with a combination of a comber brush and a soft sable. At this point I can start to see which areas will be left soft and which will be sharpened up.
This is right at the start of the process of refining and sharpening up the edges. Only a few edges have gone in but you can see it start to come to life. This is the magic bit!
This is the current state. The edges have been redefined, some petal detail has gone in and some extra values. A good day’s work I think.
It’s a long haul this oil painting lark. Today was a 4 hour block in session. I’m working larger today on a 16″x20″ panel which was a lesson in itself. More paint, bigger brushes, and trying to keep the shapes interesting at a bigger scale.
First the drawing.
All the main colors were pre-mixed as we’d already done a color study.
The main rose colors went in along with some of the dark greens to check values.
More colors on the background flowers.
The final block in with all hard edges
And the final block in with all edges softened. Next will be refining the drawing, sharpening up some edges and putting in detail. Phew!
Now this is only half finished but I’m almost tempted to leave it as is. I’m liking the light and the water effects on the barn and foreground. I’ll finish it tomorrow but I’m going to do some experiments on the trees so may push it over the edge.
I’ve been neglecting the painting sticks a little lately but am back in the saddle now. Since the Charles Reid course is less than a month away I’ve committed to doing something (sketching/painting) each day until then. Here are the first two sketch attempts.
Here is the corner of the law school. I thought this might work up into a nice painting – more of that downscreen.
And here’s the divinity school. A little scrappier as I was sitting in full sun and didn’t want to hang around too long.
Here’s the start of a painting from the law school sketch. Even though I thought I tried to make a good composition I failed – two trees, one each side of the picture, make it too symmetrical. However I’m not too unhappy at this point.
Oh. I’m struggling here. Fairly happy with the foliage – I was trying hard to get the impression of leafy detail without actually putting it in. Doesn’t hang together though and the color sucks. I’ll push it a little farther but this one will go to the back of the cupboard.
I’ve shied away from portraits up until now because, well, they’re hard. But I bit the bullet this afternoon and started this. It’s not too bad although she does look like she has a black eye. – I’m pretty happy so far so let’s hope I don’t ruin it.
Edit: After posting the progress on
and getting some very useful comments I decided to trace the original reference and overlay on the painting.
So there are indeed a few things wrong. The nose is too long, the left eye is at the wrong angle and the ear is too high. On the whole though I’m pretty happy – I will finish this one off and then try the drawing again to see if I can improve.
I took a fancy to the ornate windows on a building in central square and thought I’d make a picture of it. This is part way through – I’m in two minds and am not sure whether it will pull together in the end. Perspective is off due to the camera angle – I must learn to take photos square on.