Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I need to paint another big waratahs painting, because I want to enter it or the oneI painted last December that is hanging in the our kitchen in a local art competition. I will also enter the big lion I did earlier this year and he is ready to be entered and hopes to make the cut for the exhibition.

Meanwhile, I do not want to remove the waratahs from the kitchen and have a blank wall ! The painting there is just so lovely and fills the space with color and uplifting energy and many people who have seen it have made admiring comments about it there. I can't bear the thought of no painting there. So I decided to do a new waratahs composition, almost as big (30 " x 40") instead of 36" x 48" of the one I did last December).

Waratahs have been available recently. I did not want to do the same exact composition I did before, so I got a few of them a few weeks ago and did a new photo shoot of them (I have learned a lot about photographing flowers since the waratahs photo shoot I did last year). I chose a very nice photo with three flowers in it, one fadey in the background and one very crisp in foreground detail. The other in between in terms of focus and detail. The shapes of the petals appealed and so it won the composition contest here !

I sketched it this afternoon and decided to start painting by blocking in the background. Don't usually start that way, but it was effective. I used a big house painting style of paint brush. That is a totally fun way to get a new painting started, especially for work on a large canvas. It gets the paint on there fast and it is easy to get swept away in the excitement of creating the foundation for the new painting !

Then I set up greens on the palette and lots of gloss medium and did my leaves and greenery. At this point, I really wanted to capture some feeling and movement, plus good tonal variation. It was fun and exciting to work fast to capture what my right brain saw, and not think it through much at all.
Then when done with greens, I rinsed the palette and did my reds and some pinks. Alizarin, rose madder, napthol red and some rose pink, plus white. I had a bit of green to mix in to create a dark neutralised red for my darks. It took two passes with the reds. I always enjoy this early stage and allow the paint to drip and make a bit of a mess. I will keep and develop some of those marks made early on, others will be painted over in time.

And then I surveyed my work and am very happy to have captured some of the drama I wanted to with these gorgeous flowers, which are really stunning. I have lots to do. This is just my underpainting, but I am very happy with it as a start, I have my navigation points in the painting and a very good foundation. I will be using acrylics for this painting, with impasto. It (or the oils of Spring Waratah's in the kitchen) needs to be entered on 30 October. When this is done, a decision of which one will be entered will have to be made.

Stay Tuned !

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