Sunflowers are one of my favourite flowers, although they are not as easy to paint as you may think. Getting the right amount of detail and looseness right is a juggling act. I like the way this one turned out, with lots of layers and textures.
It's been awhile since my last post. I have been painting - participating in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I concentrated on landscapes with a few florals, and I have been been posting those on my daily paintings blog.
This painting was No. 16 in the 30 day challenge.
The sunflowers dancing across the painting reminding me of the sunflowers near the lavender fields.
The 30 paintings all together
In the last few days I have been adding the finishing touches to some of the paintings. Take a look at them on Daily Paintworks.
An alternate title for this painting was 'Before the Hail'. I painted this en plein air in my garden in brilliant sunshine. When finished, I took a trip to the shops. While there the heavens opened and we had a tropical downpour. What I didn't know was that a hail storm was happening at home. When I returned my garden was covered in white and many of my plants had been shredded by the hail, including this beautiful hibiscus.
I looked around the garden for flowers and it is pretty bare of flowers at the moment. Normally in September the plants come back into their own after the summer, but we haven't had any rain in a while so it's lacking much colour. The Oleander however, is still flowering away. I have several, all different colours - I'm thinking of painting the pink ones to form a trio of small posy paintings.
About this painting
Oleanders are difficult to paint, especially alla prima. I tried to just capture the form of the petals and the general attitude of the flower. The background has more light green in it than appears in the photo, to off-set all that pink. I'm musing on whether or not, the background behind the flower needs to be darker.
I have kept up with the challenge so far painting mostly landscapes which I post on my Joy of Colour blog. Today I took a break from the landscapes and painted flowers. Initially it started out as roses, but wiped it out twice as it just didn't seem to be working. I substituted the white flowers (forgotten what they are called, but begins with p..) form my white roses bouquet painting.
I like the texture of the flowers in this.
This would make a great gift for a flower girl or mother of the bride.
I have joined up again for another 30 paintings in 30 day challenge (will I never learn?).
This is my first one, actually painted a few days ago because I knew I wouldn't have time today because of family being around for their annual holiday.
About this painting
These roses were a present to my granddaughter from a neighbour, who has almost adopted her as a her de facto granddaughter. 10 year old Mia was thrilled and so I painted them as a reminder and keepsake. The palette knife work gives the roses a lovely 3D effect.
I have been busy painting a commissioned landscape. My first commission and on an unusaul format 30x80cm (12"x32"). For a little light relief I took time out to paint these small paintings using a limited colour scheme. They were fun to do, they have lots of texture and would brighten up a small space either individually or both together.
We have an almond tree in the corner of the garden. It was here when we moved in nearly 10 years ago and I suspect it is about 40 years old. It receives absolutely no attention (apart from a good looking at!) but produces masses of blossoms and almonds every year. We don't profit from the almonds though, as the magpies get in first.
About this painting
Although the canvas panel is primed and could be painted on straight away, I always prime my panels with additional gesso. I have two reasons for this
- I prefer the feel of the fresh gesso
- the gesso adds some texture
The background is fairly smooth on this painting. I scraped back some of the paint which also has the effect of blending. On top of that I added more paint always with a slightly different hue. This produces so lovely rich layers. For the blossoms I loaded my palette knife with really thick paint and 'ladled' it on, leaving it and impasto. I love the effect this gives. The vase is one of a set of three which can only be described as square/triangular and makes for interesting painting. Some close-ups
I sold these three paintings yesterday (I did a happy dance) and they will be on their way to the US next week.
These look great as a group and I do like the combinations of colours but hadn't really thought about how often I use them together. The purple/turquoise/pink combination is hard to beat but perhaps it is time to think about using other colours with pink flowers.
I used more blue in the background of this painting which gives a softer, more gentle look. Perhaps a pale greenish background would also work. What colour background is your favourite with pink flowers?
I used a limited palette of alazarin crimson, ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow medium plus titanium white.
Using my painting 'Over the garden wall' as a starting point, I wanted to see if I could bring the flowers to life with only the one red. I used Jackson's titanium white instead of my normal Winsor and Newton brand and was surprised at the lovely pink obtained as sometimes pinks can be a bit dull when using alazarin crimson. I worked quickly and very loosely as I didn't want any definition, and I like the spontaneous result obtained.
This little painting is in response to a painting challenge on Facebook hosted by Evhe. It is always good to get together with a group of artists and compare paintings. I am always amazed at how different the paintings can be when painted from the same subject. But then again, that is what makes painting such good fun.
I have put this painting up for auction on Daily Paintworks. The auction runs for 5 days after which the painting will revert to normal price.
I was the this month's host of the Plant Parade on Wetcanvas.com - a monthly flower painting challenge in the Florals and Botanical forum. I chose peonies as the subject with a challenge of painting them loosely.
Obtaining soft edges with a palette knife is difficult, so I first painted the peonies followed by the background. Where I wanted soft edges, I swiped palette knife across the edge to soften it and mix the paint. Where necessary I added extra paint on the knife before swiping going from the petal into the background and sometimes vice versa. Close-ups
Here are some close-ups showing this
Last month a local village held it's annual rose festival. This area is well known for growing flowers for the perfume industry (Grasse is not far away), and this village is renown for growing roses and extracting the oil.
Walking through the village, this beautiful rose was making a huge statement in someone's garden and I couldn't resist taking a few photos. I also came away with another climbing rose and several other plants for the garden.
Some close-ups of the texture achieved with the palette knife.
I love this time of year. After the tulips die down, the irises are the next to appear. As well as the dark blue border irises, these pale purple irises are amongst the first to appear. They are tall, and although not as showy as the bearded irises, they give a beautiful purple haze under the citrus trees.
About this painting
I painted this in a loose impasto style, dancing around the canvas with my palette knife, aiming more for the purple glow than true representation of the irises.
Kaleidoscope - Colourful tulip still life abstract
Palette knife painting
40x40 (16x16") cm on 5 cm (2") box canvas
Painted on a black gesso ground
No frame needed as it can be hung without a frame.
Available for purchase 250€ int. shipping included
About this painting
This painting is a rework of a partly finished realistic tulip painting. I wanted an abstract feel, so I lost some of the original tulips (there were a lot of them) and made the remaining ones larger. But, they still looked a little too realistic and I felt myself tightening up with the painting.
Knowing that I would finish up with realism if I carried on, I took drastic action!. I got out a large palette knife and scraped over the whole surface to lose the definition. I was starting to like it better. I continued applying paint and scraping back in some places. I am now calling it done.
It certainly is colourful - an antidote to today's grey and rainy day.
My tulips are all finished now - but the irises are on their way - so it's not all bad!
This was painted while the tulips were in their prime. It started out as impressionist/realism but I got carried away. I took a palette knife to the surface and swiped it over the painting. This gave a lovely loose abstract feel. A few lines finished off the painting.