This is a painting I did on Mother’s Day, of one of the daffodils that we grew in our yard.
■STEP 1: BLOCK IN THE BASIC SHAPES
This painting was done in a more “direct” approach, meaning that instead of starting with a burnt umber under-painting, I “drew in” the image with color, to achieve a more spontaneous result. At this stage, I was mostly just thinking about blocking in the basic shapes, but I was also thinking about the “big form modeling” as well. This means describing the larger, overall forms, such as the cylindrical nature of the vase.
■STEP 2: REFINEMENTS
I wanted to preserve a lot of the initial brushwork that had come out of the first session, so I primarily focused on the smaller details of the vase at this stage. First, I solidified it, by sharpening up the rim. I also refined the “big form modeling” of the vase, adding highlights, and making sure the edges feel as though they are wrapping around the form. When I first added the calligraphy on the vase it was much too tight in comparison with the looseness of the daffodil. I wanted to keep the painting loose, but accurate, so I went in and softened some of the edges until I was satisfied with the result.
■STEP 3: FINAL TOUCHES
Although I liked the looseness and transparency of the background up to this point, I decided that it was a bit too distracting, so I darkened the edges of the painting first, to frame it, then carried the paint inwards around the daffodil. I felt this did a better job of framing the daffodil and helped it to stand out from the background.