This morning I had one goal in mind: paint. With a gloomy sky here on the California coast, the damp and cold penetrate you to the bone. Once it leaves, it’s a great big sunny day ahead! So, while waiting for the fog to dissipate, I took a few pictures of a bouquet I put together of chamomile flowers and small, red carnations in a rectangular glass base. I didn’t do a value study because I wanted to look at the colors – light, dark, and so on – to see what I could produce.
I penciled in the basic drawing, took some notes of the colors and mixed this and that, testing them on a scrap of paper. Looking at the vase, I saw the different shades of color through the glass with water and without water, as well as the water line and edges of the vase. Chamomile leaves are multi-lobed and floppy; carnation leaves are rather spiky. Chamomile flowers are happy, daisy-like flowers, and quite small. Carnations are upright. Both are really lovely!
Process was like my last two flower paintings – start with the large areas of color and move into details. Overall, it worked here, until I started getting into the hodge-podge of leaves. I think I should have simplified their masses of color, but I didn’t. I like the negative painting I accomplished for the chamomile flowers, as well as the edges along the bouquet where the white flowers have to merge into something. The carnations were far more difficult than I thought, and once more, I made something more complicated and tight than I would like to see as “my” style.
Nonetheless, I feel that this painting is a moderate success. I was patient and let the washes dry, working from lighter to more dark, thinking about white space and negative painting. And I still have a bouquet of flowers to enjoy!