I'm working on a new series of big florals for a show at in MAY 2015 and for my ART IN THE GARDEN STUDIO SHOW June 27th, 2015.

So the reference photo is one of my peonies, and the canvas is 30 x 36.

The Pink paint is a Winsor Newton Color called ROSE DORE + M Graham Titanium White and then to cool it Cerelean Blue

Titian USED thin layers of white with a touch of color to paint his beautiful nudes, so I will be doing the same to keep the Creamy color of this peony.

This took two full days to block in this first layer of paint. The pure white is the Canvas at this point. I will leave this white until the end of the painting and then decide if the white needs to be a cool white or a warm white.

Photo #2 of the peony looks almost the same, but look close as there is more pink COVERING the blue/purple area. You might want to know why. Putting the blue between two layers of pink will keep this peony in the pink side. Where if I left the blue on the top it would look more purple, and at this stage of the peony it needs to stay more pink.

I'm working on this painting in the next few days though July 4, so look for a new post after the holiday.
If I had continued with a richer pink on this layer, it would of been too bright of a pink. So this step
looks like I'm going backwards, but the next glaze will be a transparent pink and I hope will be almost done.

This layer I wanted to add some depth with a layer of pink/gray. So I used the same cerulean blue, a touch of Rose Dore, Transparent Red Iron Oxide to dull it and a bit of white. This is for the cool areas. I also used Rose Dore mixed with white to add more pink in certain areas.

The center is where I used more Rose Dore mixed with naples yellow.
So IF you look at the reference photo, WHEN I put a transparent pink glaze on top of this yellow area, and my grays. It will be just where I want it to be.

Painting pale flowers takes patience to build the values that describe LIGHT. So warm and cool is the key. AND there are many places that the first glazes are visible.
Here is a close up of this layer, so you can see the underlaying colors.

 Pink and blue layer and white highlights- it's been a broken painting days, so grabbing a few hours when I can. So this shows the NEXT pink layer which has Alizarin Crimson added to the previous pink, adding a deeper value takes a stronger color like Alizarin. The blue glow is the same blue mixed with white. This helps to pull the background color into the cool areas near the white highlights.

As you can see---not quite done, but getting close today should see it finished-I'm working toward the center of the peony. I want it to stay soft and delicate and paying very close attention to NOT covering some of my previous layers as this gives me the value of LIGHT spilling across this Peony which was the main GOAL for this painting. 

The FINAL PUSH, was a deep glaze of Alizarin Crimson mixed with a bit of white and blue. to push the final crevices and I wanted the blue to be though more of the painting, so as I darkened areas, I also use a touch of light pink, or blue depending on the wrinkles on the peony.
The BIG color difference in these photos, is bottom one is a photograph with a high end DIGITAL SLR and under correct lighting. The top photos were in my studio under north light. 

After a bit of drying time and looking at the painting for about a week. I decided that a painting is never finished, it just stops in interesting places. It needed to go beyond the photo reference for added interest. I took a leaf of faith, and added playful linear touches of soft blue and warmed the center with Naples yellow and Alizarin Crimson for depth. Quite a change from before....and more the essence of the flower. 

A painting is never finished until you varnish it. NEVER paint on top of varnish. So this Peony sat in my studio for quite a while, something just didn't feel right. SO I lightened the background to give it a airy feel. The finished painting. sold

JULY 2015
Celebrating my Birthday month with a 1/2 PRICE SALE on Oil and Watercolor DVD LESSONS...while supplies last. 

My DVD lessons are the next best thing to sitting in my studio with me, they come with a pattern and reference photo so you can paint along STEP BY STEP.