Painting Peonies (Part I)

peony, oil painting, Jenny Yu

Peony has always been my favorite flower, especially the pink ones. I feel that there’s a luxurious elegance to it. As I was looking for photos to paint from,  I couldn’t decide between two pictures of flower setups. Finally, I thought why not combine features from the two into one painting?  To start, I laid down a rough sketch displaying the values.

sketch

Mixed with some Gamsol media, I did a quick wash of the major colors and values. Looking back, I feel that I could have done a better job of washing  to avoid a ‘stiff’ block in.  But as I learned from my experience, oil painting is all about fixing your own mistakes.  And one of the things I’m trying to work on is to paint faster, because it forces me to worry less about the little details until the very end.

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Besides lavender purple, I love aquamarine blue and I think it really complements the overall painting. After finding the tones of colors that I like for the flowers, I start with  the darkest value and lightest value to establish my range. After that, I filled in the large petals with different strokes and pressures. It’s easier to blend and work out the edges when the paint is still wet. But I do not have the whole day to paint, so most of the time I focus on an area (i.e. flowers) in a session.

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I’m pleased with the current progress,  but need to work on the leaves more to soften the edges and blend them in better (especially the ones sticking out in the back).

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