Petals and Cream {Painting Progression}

Petals and Cream rebeccafinch

Petals and Cream Collection studio narrative and painting progression gallery

Petals and cream studio 2

Having recently moved into our new home, I am continuing to experiment and learn how to best use one of our bedrooms as a studio. Here you can see my temporary system for hanging background fabric. I hope to perfect this in the future, but for now, we are going with it. I apologize for the small photographs.

The Studio Setup

Petals and Cream progess1

After figuring the background and deciding on the still life arrangement, I began painting. Here you can see, my usual rough estimate of object placements. At this point it is crucial that I establish the size of one main object, and draw the other objects in proportion and relation to that first object. This keeps objects at a comfortable size and ensures everything will fit on the canvas. If I spend so much time on the drawing it becomes a paint by number feel for me, and the painting becomes stiff and inaccurate.

Petals and Cream progress2

After the initial drawing, I locate the easiest shape of value and color to get correct. I chose the light side of this pitcher. Soon after establishing the values and colors of this pitcher I laid in some of the darks around it to be sure that my values were correct – color and value is, after all, relative to it’s surrounding colors and values. Painting the cloth underneath the pitcher was also important as it was a different shade of white – it was good to see the contrast between both shades as they were on the canvas exactly as I was seeing with my eyes.

Petals and Cream progress3

I began to block in the flowers, making sure that I was accurately placing the large shapes of light and shadow. I would concern myself with the details after the proper large shapes of value were established.

Petals and Cream progress4

It was then necessary to work in the background to achieve correct edges around the flowers. Also the darks of the leaves and stems were added to be sure that the range of values was accurate.

Petals and Cream progress5

After choosing certain flowers to receive detailed attention, I then went on to add lightly the pattern on the pitcher and begin moving left to add the second pitcher. Now that the flowers are completed I no longer have an uncomfortable sense of urgency.

Petals and Cream progress6

I continued to work toward the left into each pitcher. It was quite a challenge since they all were cream on cream. At this point I became a bit concerned that the painting would become monochromatic, so I was mindful to look for an include any hint of other colors in reflections or shadows to add interest to the painting.

Petals and Cream progress7

At this point I knew that something additional was needed to bring some more color into the painting, so eventually I brought more flowers in to balance the lavender and connect the subtle color changes on the right hand side.

Petals and Cream rebeccafinch

And the final product. A collection of wedding gifts, and other special pitchers.

Painting Progression Gallery


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