Saturday, June 2, 2012

2 Small rose paintings alla prima


   Both of these two little paintings were done in one day. About 6 hours each. I have discovered that bringing them indoors makes rendering the roses convincingly much easier. Because I have north light coming in from one direction I can discern how the light is falling across the form of the petals. It was much more difficult painting them outside on overcast days where the light was coming from all over the place. However, in the future I plan to tackle roses in outside in overcast lighting again, now that I have built more confidence in my abilities to paint roses, even though indoors...

Stages of a rose painting

photo of the set up

8x10 cotton canvas panel, toned neutral grey with acrylic paint

Began to scrub an oil tone over the painting...

    Oil tone or 'imprematura'. The main reason I chose to do this for this painting is that it creates a wet bed of paint to work into, very nice for the 'wet on wet' method. I discovered (as I have seen in the works of others) that this color also will be seen in the final painting, either seen as an undercolor through the final layer or small spots of color in unfinished areas. This can be very pleasing, especially if it compliments the overall dominant color of the subject.

Begin blocking in larger shapes of color, trying to feel out a good composition.

Color block in -  At this point my design is set. Now I can begin working smaller areas as they relate back to the whole.

The painting is 90% complete here. The flower is my focal point so I painted it first and have tried to keep everything else subordinate. I have to admit something, I had to leave to go to a meeting at this point and could not finish it in one day. The main pink rose and two leaves in the foreground I had to come back the next day to paint, so I rubbed them out so I could repaint them the next day....

finished painting

Below is a close up view of the rose's stages of development.

Thanks for checking in....


  1. Nice. Kinda Schmid-like in the execution. I'll have to try the Imprematura approach!

  2. It is great to watch order emerge from chaos...these roses are beautiful...I would have laboured hours and never approached such a great result !!