Monday, April 16, 2012

"Ranunculus" by Jonathan Aller

8 x 10 in 
Oil on Canvas Panel
I haven't painted flowers in a while and wanted to paint these, I gave these ranunculus to my girlfriend and decided after a couple days that I needed to paint their beauty.  I've been busy painting larger paintings and producing ball point pen drawings so it was nice to change the pace to these alla prima's.  After not painting alla prima's for a while it was tough to get started and find a rhythm, after half way through it started to click and come back to me.  I really do miss painting these guys on a daily basis but at the same time I like devoting most of my time to my larger more personal work.  The sole purpose of these alla prima paintings is for practice and try to understand the oils as best as I can.  Painting flowers are a bit different than painting a regular object in a still life, first flowers move by the hour and second their form is far more intricate and complicated.  I found painting flowers you have to simplify their shape as much as you can and towards the end of the painting stages thats where you can get complicated with the rendering.  Overall it's a joy and pleasure to paint a beautiful subject matter as this.
I started with the usual dry brush approach by just applying a bit of raw umber on the brush and using no mediums.  When the drawing is completed I then stated the background and after the general statement of the flowers and vase.  At this stage I just lay in a thin layer of paint which creates a nice surface for the oils in the later stages.  I am also concerned of the movement of light at this stage, big form modeling if you will.  I used ultramarine blue, naples yellow and titanium white for the background.  For the roses I mainly used quinacridone magenta for the initial stages, and for the leaves and vase I used viridian and naples yellow.  I usually don't lay out my colors all at once because I like the keep the paints fresh in every section I work in, I do know with certain colors you are able to get away with that instead of having a dry look towards the end of the painting.
Once the big form modeling was complete I then started to just concentrate on individual sections, I choose the first left roses to paint.  First I stated the darker values with their specific shapes, the colors I used were quinacridone magenta and ultramarine blue for the darker values.  Once the darker shapes were complete I moved on to the lighter shapes and stated their specific forms.  I used titanium white mixed with quinacridone magenta for the highlights and lighter values.  I repeated the same process with the middle set of flowers
As you can see its the same process when stating the lighter values after the darks are complete.  It usually flows nicely when you complete each stage well,  there are at times were you do have to go back and adjust certain things to get the overall value or paint quality right, just depends on how the look of the object your painting.  I repeated the same process with the third set of flowers on the right side of the painting.
Once the flowers are complete I moved onto the vase and stating the middle to darker values, the colors I used for this stage were viridian, and ultramarine blue.  This area is a good lesson in not painting every hair on a dog to get the point across that theirs a lot going on, as long as you paint a representation of the form and whats going then your find getting away with it.  If I was to paint every single strand of stem and leaf then it would start to come out bland.  You have to choose your battle and see what information is important to leave in their when you paint, what will help you'r painting out if you were to leave that out or push it more in order to get the message across.  Remember your the director of this frame you can choose what the viewer see's and feels.
I finished the painting by stating the small stems poking out of the flowers.  I hope you guys enjoyed this one, I know I did and hope to do more in the near future.  Thanks for stopping by and viewing!

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