Silver & Flowers, oil alla prima

Silver & Flowers, 24x18 in., oil on canvas, alla prima from life

This is my latest still life, I’ve been painting a lot of flowers lately and these were leftover from one of my workshops, so I could not let them go to waste. The challenge on this was the light, overhead incandescent and back lighting from the windows behind the flowers, but that’s what made it interesting. The back lighting cast a wonderful silver grey reflection on the table surface and make the stems in the glass vase almost a silhouette.

The palette used on this includes: burnt umber, Prussian blue, King’s blue, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow, cadmium barium yellow, Naples yellow, Naples yellow light, magenta, cadmium red light, titanium white. The underpainting was done in burnt umber, followed by blocking in the darkest values in burnt umber and Prussian blue. From there, it was a matter of working in color through the middle values on through the brightest brights and highlights. I spent about 5 hours on this from start to finish, everyone always asks “how long does it take you to paint one of these?”, so I figured I ‘d get that out up front. I typically don’t work this large for pieces I intend to finish in one session. I prefer to work a little bit smaller for one session paintings, 11×14 is perfect, but this was the only size I had available. I find that after 3 hours of painting, 4 at most, I begin to get tired. But, I wanted to finish this, as I knew I would not have an opportunity to work on it beyond the one session. It was good practice. 🙂


3 Responses to Silver & Flowers, oil alla prima

  1. I havent painted in oil since I was in high school.
    I would love to get back into it. In my college classes, they only taught with acrylics!
    amazing work.
    Please stop by and say hi!

  2. clare jenkinson says:

    Am really glad to have found this. The light in the plein air pastels is superb and everything else here is also wonderful. I really appreciate the way you explain the process of when and how to apply the colour. Now all I need to do is to learn to include less detail in my paintings, ie to loosen up. I shall look forward to learning more from you.
    Thanks again for your site.

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