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Monday, July 09, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace Oil Painting Demo Pictures

'Blue Skies Smiling'          30 x 40     oil on linen         ©Karen Margulis

When I get interested in something new I jump in with both feet.  And so it was for learning to use oils.  I had been doing my daily oils for a few weeks when I was asked if I would do a large painting of wildflowers....30x40 oil on linen canvas.  Why not! I did some smaller studies and we agreed on the general composition and colors. I ordered the canvas and some bigger tunes of paint and got to work.  I have been working on the painting for about a month slowly building up layers. The photo above shows the finished painting. Below I will share my steps.

Step one...the block in

I decided to stick with my limited palette of alizarin,cad yellow medium, ultramarine blue and white. I am comfortable with this palette and didn't want to experiment for this painting.( I did have to add a color at the end)  I toned the canvas orange-yellow and then blocked in the flowers with a dark red orange paint thinned with Gamsol. I used a paper towel to wipe some paint off to reveal flowers. That was fun!

Step two....blocking in the darks
The next step was to add in the darks in the flowers and in the foliage area. I am still using thin paint and using a dark red purple. I put in the distant flower heads with a blue-grey. I let these darks dry.

Step three....putting in the sky and clouds

For the next step I decided to put in the sky and clouds. I chose to leave both with a medium thin paint. I wanted the textures of the flowers to stand out against a smoother sky.  I didn't want the texture of fluffy clouds to take away from the flowers.  It took 3 thin layers to build up the sky and clouds to my satisfaction. I allowed te paint to dry in between layers.

Almost finished....a few tweaks needed
I sadly didn't take photos of the build up of the greens and the flowers. Let me explain what I did. I started with some darker greens both warm and cool. I put the darks in the foliage and the flower heads. I also started putting in some darker reds for some secondary flowers. I let this layer dry.  I kept adding layers of green getting gradually lighter and warmer and using progressively thicker paint. Each time I added a layer I let it dry before adding more paint. Towards the end of the painting process I used a palette knife to add details both grasses and flower petals.
The tweak I needed to make was to warm up the red flower color. I needed to add Cad red light to get the right flower color. I also gave a light wash of some warm green to warm up some of the foliage as well.

Painting this large was awesome. I had so much fun painting larger than life and getting my whole body into it. I have a 36x36 canvas that will be next. I will try to document the progress as well.


Janie Husband said...

i am truly in love with this...beautiful....

Karen said...

Thanks Janie!

Maria João said...

I would love to have painted this. It's beautiful! I have photos just like this!!!