Thursday, October 14, 2010

Work in Progress... "Variation on a Theme #4"

"Variation on a Theme #4" - Oil - 24" x 30"

"Continuing this series of rose paintings, I added fresh blooms and more vases. All these set-ups were lit by soft, cool light from my studio window. As you can see, my enthusiasm has not waned." --- SFG


After painting the first three paintings in this series based on the larger arrangement of roses shown here, I rotated the vase a little and added fresh blooms and more clear glass vases. The pink rose at the lower left of the big arrangement was already drooping a bit, but its color was needed. For compositional purposes, I elected to make the meeting of the blue drape and the wall a horizontal line.

I marked the locations of each vase by marking the top and bottom of the largest arrangement and comparing the location of the other vases to that. I used the "saran wrap" method to indicate the overall shape of the large bunch of roses.

I added a bit more detail to the drawing placing the individual blooms. Notice the dots in the middle of some. Marking the center of the bloom helps me understand from what perspective I'm viewing it. For instance, a dot in the middle means I'm looking at it head on. If it is low and to the left within the circle, the rose is facing up and to the right.

For this painting, I wanted to get the distinct, though sometimes subtle, color differences between the blooms. I massed in the dark green leaves first, since they were the darkest value of the painting and I could compare the various values of the roses to that as I worked through the roses' temperature variations. I started with the coolest and worked up to the warmest. I did all the pink roses and the red one, and, finally, the orange to yellow ones.

My palette is pretty full as I finish this stage, but you can see how I mixed colors next to one another to determine the temperature relationships and value differences between them.

Before I did any detail on the flowers and vases, I made sure that the background and table surface related properly. It would be easy to ruin all the colors I'd worked on by putting the wrong temperature or value behind them.

Finally, I can put the icing on the cake with rhythmic calligraphy on the roses and the sparkle on the vases.

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