Tuesday, February 17, 2015


"Sunstruck" - 5"x8"
I took a detour and spent time on this sunflower for a few weeks. Given how cold it's been, I think it warms me up by simply looking at it.

I developed this composition and its feeling of bright sunshine by following some of the "rules" I listed last year for doing small floral paintings (see the original post here).

  • Tight focus on a primary subject
  • Little to no detail beyond the subject
  • Extreme value contrasts
  • Dramatic lighting

I think the leaves and stem fall under the "little to no detail beyond the subject" rule. The point is the flower (and maybe the bee), but not the plant. So merely suggesting the greens is sufficient. There's no need to get fussy over them.

Now, about that bee.....in my original drawing, the bee was the focal point. But in the painting, the extreme value contrasts on the lower petals really hog the scene. I had already blocked the bee shape in when I realized that I might have a problem. I thought about scrubbing the bee out, but I decided to leave it. I'm hoping it encourages the viewer's gaze to move around all the petals, rather than focusing on just the brightest ones.

I used six pigments: Lemon Yellow, Cad Yellow and Quin Gold, as well as Permanent Rose, Pthalo Blue (GS) and Quin Burnt Orange.

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