9x12 acrylic on canvas panel
Available through DPW gallery/auction
Painting white is always a challenge. If you squint & look closely you will see color in there. It's reflected back to your eye from the surroundings. Add in a bit of artistic license, and suddenly shadows & creases have a blue or purple tone. Highlights may have a yellow tint from the sun. Combined, it gives you levels for the eye to focus on. The combination creates the planes & plateaus where the eye moves then rests, as it takes in the image.
This rose was one of those paintings. Done with acrylics, but it does have a watercolor feel to it. Using a series of washes over white, I added the darker spots, then the lighter ones. And some areas remained white.
Here are a few photos of the work in progress. After the initial sketch, I put in the few touches of background in a deep dark green. This anchors the flower for me. After that, I start at the center and work my way out. I don't try too hard to get the color exact the way I want it - not at this stage. It's simple to add another layer of wash - not so simple to paint over & start again!
I continue to build outward, working each petal with color, wash & line. It's as if each petal is a small mini-painting where I work at creating a crease, or curve, or fold on that one petal.
Once a painting is done, I have learned it is not. I will paint the entire painting, then often leave it for a day or so. Come back another day, and I work at pushing the value changes more. Deeper darks in the crevices, brighter highlights on the edges.
I have learned one thing though. Stopping part way on either of the 2 WIP steps above, I often can not get the same feel/look/momentum to the piece when I return at another time. So I try to get the entire main painting done, and leave the value adjustments for another day. This obviously works well with smaller pieces, difficult to work non-stop on a large one. On those, I have to "pick" or define my stopping points carefully - so if a shift in my momentum is going to give a slightly different look or feel, it is to an area of the painting that can handle the change easily.