Oil on Panel ~ 9 x 12inches

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Still Life Gallery

The Tulip painting is finished and I can't wait to get it into a white frame and off to the gallery for exhibit. Still Life painting were first introduced in Italy and Spain sometime around the sixteenth century. I have spend so many years aiming to perfect my portrait drawing skills, that I very seldom devoted time to this delightful genre. This painting will be on exhibit at the

Artist Eye Gallery


Here are some detail shots of the painting...

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I built up the paint layer upon layer on the petals and wanted to show the small lines that are apparent when looking at the petals of this flower.The subtle variation in color was achieved by glazing translucent paint over already established hues. Sometimes I left the paint rather thick to draw attention to an area that I thought could use more "umph" .


Have you ever noticed that some old still life paintings in museums show insects, withered petals, rotten fruit and all sorts of not so perfect items among the lovely flower arrangements that are depicted? Well, still life paintings often include symbolism and imperfections are there to remind us of the transience of life. Petal blossoms open, come to full bloom and wither away - a reminder of one's own mortality.


The Tulips are coming along.The dark reddish under layer is now completely covered and has given way to three distinct areas in the painting that still need to get developed further. After I had blocked in the color masses I started to concentrate on hitting the right color notes. Flowers are difficult for me to paint because I see so many variations in hues. So I spend a lot of time squinting at the painting and asking myself if the color in each petal shifts more towards red or pink. Another issue is how to raise or lower the value of a color and still maintain the intensity of it's hue. When adding white to lighten or black to darken colors the chroma diminishes. If I were to mix Cadmium Red with White, I would end up with a dull and subdued pink. The solution was to experiment with different hues and to use transparent colors over the initial blocked in colors.

Mixing Scarlet to Flake White instead of the heavy Titanium White results in a much more brilliant pink. If you mix in Cad Yellow to Scarlet the color gets lighter and more vibrant looking. For some of the rich violets I used Dioxine Purple. This color when mixed with Quinacridone Magenta becomes more violet looking and if mixed with French Ultramarine Blue more a blue-violet.

Working with clean brushes is a must when color intensity is desired. The slightest residue left on a brush that was wiped clean with a rag will introduce additional pigments and dull your new mix. Needless to say by the end of the day, there was a lot of brush cleaning to be done. :)

I love to garden and can often be found outside planting a variety of flowers. When I am not planting something, I end up browsing through catalogs and magazines dreaming of new flower bed visitors. After I finished the painting of the "Pansies", which had a blue/violet and grey color palette I wanted to continue doing another flower painting with a more reddish look. I started out by toning the ampersand 9x12 inch museum board a deep share of red brown. Once that was dry, I roughly drew out my design using a white charcoal pen. This was followed by getting color in the right values placed on the board. At this stage I am focusing on getting the shapes and values right before continuing with finding the right color notes. If you like to be notified on how this painting progresses sign up via email or hit the RSS button.

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