Saturday, September 27, 2008

september VSD: tree peony

(7.5x11)

(5x6)
Such a dark background scares me: I'm not so good at darks. In the first attempt (top) I tried to follow advice in a book about changing colors as I went, but it seemed too much--maybe because the colors in the flowers are so delicate. I stopped and put a wash of mars violet over it to try to pull it together.
In the second version I didn't try to get creative with the background and tried to not put so much paint into the flower.
I really enjoyed, in both, painting the vase: the shapes inside it were easy to see and helped to show the volume.
See the links at Virtual Sketch Date, which will be posted Sunday, to see what others have done with this reference photo.
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31 comments:

Kari Gibson said...

Oh, fabulous! I love the way you have approached them. Lovely loose, free brush strokes, brilliant.

I had the same problem with that dark background and I am glad I practised on a piece of paper before going in for the real thing.

Your results are superb.

kay susan said...

I like both versions but I prefer the first. I love that faded out background, it gives a misty, mysterious feel and I think you made a beautifully balanced composition there

Cathy Gatland said...

These are just gorgeous, Laura - I love the second one as it just looks so wet and luscious, but both are loose and lovely.

Gail said...

Hey Laura,
These look fabulous. I love the way you handled the vase with the reflections in both pieces. It's hard isn't it to decide how loose you want to be with the composition but I think you did a spot on job with both. Can't believe you have time for two!

shicat said...

oh my these are wonderful. The whites are whites the shadows are correct... just lovely. I painted a version of the flower with the vase but lost the whites. The blacks are always challenging. I seem to like them on other peoples paintings but not my own. With your paintings, I believe I favor the one with the dark backround. But both are beautiful.

laura said...

Thanks, everyone. I love VSD posting day: so many comments to leave and to read.

Gail: I work on both, bouncing back and forth, at the same time. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I figure something out doing one that helps me with the other!

Jennifer Rose said...

both are wonderful. Love all the colours in the background of the first one and how delicate the flower looks in the last.

A Brush with Color said...

These are just stunning, Laura! I love both of these. Such rich color choices, too, and you're so right--the glass has fabulous volume to it.

Stacy said...

Wow Laura, you did two!!! I barely got one done. I like how colorful the first one is and the way the background lightens on the left side. The second one is so nice and crisp with beautiful, clean colors. Both are winners!

"JeanneG" said...

Oh Laura I really like them. The first is my favorite. I love the colors you got in the background. Especially on the right side.

Andy said...

If I had to choose I think I'd go for the second painting, but both are great.

Regina Calton Burchett said...

I'm in love with the second one - it just drinks in the light! The background is great and really sets off the entire composition. Beautiful.

Ann said...

Your work is stunning and these are no exception. I like them both, can't pick a favorite :)

Rose Welty said...

I so admire artists like yourself who can control watercolor - these are nicely done. I'm a little partial to the second one, but they are both nice.

Leslie said...

Rich color!
Both of them work beautifully.
Each background treatment makes a completely different atmosphere.
I prefer them both! :)

BMoon said...

Beautiful delicate watercolors, both. Love the top background, visually interesting. You were brave to try the dark background and did it well, I didn't even go there!

Sharon said...

I love the first painting. I like the boldness of the background and your control of the paint in the flower is wonderful. I'm also impressed with the way you handled the table reflection. Looking at your painting, I'm puzzled as to why iI found it so difficult. Must give it another try...

cFeldperson said...

Wow. Inspiring. I chickened out after all. Flowers are really intimidating. Really nice.

Deborah said...

I actually enjoy the background of the first painting better. They both are lovely.

Barbara Weeks said...

I love version one. It has a poetry to it. technically and creatively well done.

Jo Castillo said...

I love the colors and looseness in the first. The second is wonderful, too. No favorite. Nice work.

Dianne Mize said...

Both are beautiful. Clean, strong colors and a lovely vibrance.

laura said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting. It's really so very interesting to read what each person has to say, seeing the different responses and takes; it's like alittle tutorial in critiqueing (something I always aspire to be better at). Thanks!

Paulette said...

They're both beautiful!
Wonderful work!

Vivienne said...

It is certainly hard to choose. Both are gorgeous .. the atmospheric background in the first;the light on the petals in the second, which makes them soar up. Beautiful work.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I really like them both....... I love the first.

Lindsay said...

You have such a wondefully expressive way with flowers. These are lovely.

MaryAnn Cleary said...

How delightful! I love the colors in the background on the first and prefer it over the second. Both are beautifully done!

Jennifer Lawson said...

Beautiful.

Quilt Knit said...

This is really a tremendous approach to this photo. I just love the way you continued to work.

Sherrie Roberts

Peter said...

I'll put my neck on the line and say I liked the second one best
thanks for sharing

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