Still working with Paul Foxton’s latest still life workshop. This week was the rose still life color study. It’s not the whole composition but contains the main elements. I went a bit beyond where I intended today as this was just meant to be a color block in. It was a pretty intense session nonetheless. We accurately mixed all the main colors and some were pretty tricky.
Rose Still-Life Color Study – Munsell to the Rescue
I have the big Munsell color book. This contains about 1600 different paint chips covering most of the colors possible in paint. It’s been invaluable in making me more aware of color. Especially how to mix it both for oil painting and watercolor. I hadn’t realized how bad my color perception and mixing skills were before I started using it. If you want to know more about Munsell see this post. It also includes information on the online ChromaMagic tool which helps you see color more accurately.
After mixing everything for the rose still life color study putting the paint on the canvas went pretty quickly. We weren’t meant to put in petals – bad Michele! However, I wanted to see how it would look and how hard it was going to be to get the pink rose to read well. I had to do a lot of single touch strokes with no blending. This was to get the color changes between the edges of the petals and the higher chroma inner parts. I’m very glad I did this – the full thing doesn’t seem so daunting any more.
Sometimes Cheap Surfaces Aren’t the Best Option
The surface was just a cheapo cardboard canvas panel. These are surprisingly good to work on and only cost around $1 a time. As it came out so well I almost wish I’d done it on something more substantial.
The whole session was a long one – around three hours I think. It’s a long time as you’re focusing intently for the full extent . At the end I was glad to put the brushes down at the end. Paul did give us a couple of tea breaks though 🙂
Kathy Speranza roses are spectacular and I was watching her online rose course yesterday and thought I’d have a go. She makes it look so easy! And boy can she paint. I’ve done a number of flower paintings with Paul Foxton but it’s always good to see how others approach things.
Pass 1 on Kathy Speranza Roses
Above is the result of the first pass. It’s oil on a 9″x12″ canvas board. I have to admit that I’m not doing her exact method. She does an underpainting first and a number of preliminary drawings but I thought I’d have a go at the block in to see what happened. Pretty happy so far.
Pass 2 – Refining the Color and Form
Pass 2 on the Kathy Speranza rose workshop. This is lesson 6 and the second pass putting on color. I’m finding this tricky but slowly getting into the slow pace of things. Usually I would be finishing up by now but I think there are a few more steps to go. Each with a week’s drying in between so we’re in for the long haul. This one was refining the background, values and edges. I also introduced some more chroma into the centers. A very little paint goes a long way with this method and I’m starting to enjoy it very much.
Next Steps – Pass Three on Kathy Speranza Roses
I still need to finish this painting. I’m a bit nervous – don’t want to ruin it. I’ve watched her final video and it gets pretty philosophical. Interesting though and makes a change from more practical approaches. Both are needed of course and it’s been really worthwhile looking at flowers from a different perspective.
Value studies are often associated with landscapes but they’re very useful in still life. This rose watercolor value study was hugely instructive for the follow up painting.
Yesterday’s Paul Foxton workshop session was cancelled but I thought I’d go mad and do a watercolor value study instead. Sheesh!!! So hard getting those close values in watercolor and still keep the form and light. But I think I did pretty darn well .
The final (ish) session on the summer roses with Paul Foxton. Hard to say how I feel about this right now. There are a few things I’d like to work on still but it’s very close to being done. Highly recommend Paul’s workshops. I learn a lot, the people are great and it’s enormous fun.