Friday, December 20, 2019

How To Start A Floral Painting In Oil

"Ranunculus (Because I Love Saying Ranunculus)"
Oil on Gessoboard, 14x11"
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Sometimes, it's interesting to "peek under the hood" to see how a new painting is developed.  Floral paintings especially can be full of complicated details that can force us to become overly tight and detail oriented when setting them up.  My goal is to allow my flowers to appear energetic, as if a breeze is coming through the painting.  To achieve this feeling, my layers underneath have to be loose and free flowing.

Here's my first wash, on the first day of painting.  Using Raw Umber mixed with Gamsol, I tone the board, then go in with a brush and more Raw Umber to put in the darker areas, and I use a cotton cloth to lift the lighter sections.  At this point, I can see if I like the overall composition and the flow of the painting to be.

Using my underpainting as my guide, I'm ready to go in with color.  You can see that I've tried to remain true to my underpainting, matching darker color in the dark areas and light color in the sunlit parts.

Day 3, I'm continuing to add detail and finish the background color.  

Day 4, it's time to add the vase, stems, and other small details to finish the painting.

It's fun for me to share my painting process with you- I hope you enjoyed seeing it!


  1. I think it is outstanding.
    You can bounce from color to neutrals/grays flawlessly. I see you really have taken hold of what you learned and I hope you do a video of it like you did of the previous techniques.Let me know if you do please. You are such a good teacher.
    How are you liking the Denver art experience?

  2. It's always fascinating to see the process of other artists. This is a lovely piece and your soft edges are to die for.

  3. I would love to see more of these! It’s beautiful and this is just what I need. Thank you !