Beth and Andy visited the studio/gallery and looked over the paintings I had in stock. We discussed what they liked and the size of the space. In particular, Beth loves purple. Blue-purple is her favorite. This was a fun challenge to integrate what they liked -- the colors, the waterfall, the flowers -- into a painting to fit their space.
After making some sketches, I started with a drawing on the panel using cold pressed linseed oil and a bit of pigment.
I mix the darkest values using Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red Medium. I put in the dark values wherever I see them on the painting.
For the brighter greens in the foreground space, I mix up small batches of green the same way but, instead of Ultramarine Blue, use a warmer Cerulean Blue with Cadmium Yellow in varying ratios. I also would add a touch of Cadmium Red Medium and Primary Red-Magenta to tone it down.
I blocked in the water on the creek using Ultramarine Blue since my clients liked the cobalt color more than a turquoise color. I also worked in some of the earth tones from the land mixed from predominately Cadmium Red Medium with Ultra Blue and Cadmium Yellow.
Next, I mixed a light blue for the sky using both Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue plus Titanium White and blocked in the sky in the negative space around the trees.
I then scratched into the surface all over with a rubber tipped implement to create the branches and twigs and sense of movement.
Finally, time to start adding the flowers! I start with the hollyhocks in the background using various mixes of magenta with a touch of yellow, magenta and white, magenta and ultra blue, magenta and cerulean blue.
More flowers are painted in. The waterfall in the creek is painted in. Goldfish are added and then ripples swept over them. I even go back and add some dark green from the background when I think there may be too many flowers.
The surface of the painting is alive with the flowers pulsating across the landscape. Hollyhocks, magic lilies, marigolds, poppies, Queen Anne's Lace are all dancing across the painting.
The finished painting. "Happy Dancing Flowers", Code #040717 S 24x30, oil on panel, 24" x 30", c. 2017 by Charlene Marsh.
I ended up painting a second piece to give Beth and Andy a choice. I also wanted to better integrate what they wanted with the emphasis on purples and violets and blues. Although I absolutely love the vibrancy and excitement of this painting, I felt like maybe it didn't have enough purple to really meet their expectations. Also, I just feel better giving clients a choice and then I can add the second piece back into my inventory. Win win for everyone!
PART THREE of this blog features the creation of the second painting. I'll let you know at the end of that blog which painting Andy and Beth selected.
Thanks for following along!
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