Friday, March 19, 2010

Prairie Fire Blossoms Acrylic Painting

My latest acrylic painting is 30" x 24" inches. It's my largest painting on canvas and I haven't given it a title yet.

The inspiration is our Prairie Fire Crab Apple Tree. We'll be seeing its glorious color through these windows in about eight weeks. Since I enlarged the design so much, I projected my photograph onto the canvas and sketched some basic outlines with water soluble graphite. I decided that next time I paint this, I'll probably use a hard regular graphite pencil so I don't have to mess around with smudges in the lighter areas. (Helpful hints from more experienced painters is welcome!)

Starting with the background, I blocked in color to establish basic values. This photo is slightly out of focus and it reminds me of when I worked more with traditional transparent watercolors.
Reds and greens seem to be the most challenging colors for me to tackle. The majority of this was done with Liquitex Heavy Body paint that I thinned with matte medium. Golden Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold was added to my palette. It's the only "yellow".

I prefer to work with a limited palette. This is a test/reference page I created for this project. I ended up not using the cadmium hues from my trials and chose Alizarin Crimson Hue for my red. The violets were mixes of A. Crimson plus Indanthrene Blue or Prussian Blue Hue or Cobalt Blue. Both titanium white (opaque) and zinc white (translucent) were used depending on the the effect I wanted to create. The variety of blues were chosen to change the temperature of my shadows. No "tube" greens were used other than the very small amount of cobalt turquoise that was blended with Q. Gold.

This is why I love to paint. Look at all this luscious eye candy!

13 comments:

Erin said...

Beautiful painting, I love it!

Janvangogh said...

The flowers are quite lovely.

There have been more than a few times that I have thought I needed to frame a few palettes too!

joyfulploys said...

Thanks for your kind words about my tissue paper effort. I love this painting...I have been wanting to do some big flowers, ala Georgia O'OKeeffe. Did you use liquid acrylics on this? If you haven't tried Payne's Gray for a dark, I recommend it...it's a dark blue black and is lovely when mixed with a lot of white.
Mary

joyfulploys said...

Duh...just noticed that you did tell what kind of acrylics you used... :)

jgr said...

Hi Regina,
so glad to get your comment, I love your latest paintings!! especially the big flowers - perfect for Spring. Also thanks for adding me to your list, it makes me smile. I am putting you on my list too.

Kelly said...

This is beautiful Regina!

Anonymous said...

Wow - can't wait to see this one in person! You sure made a cool early spring day warm up! xoxox Chickie Sis

Laura said...

This is wonderful Regina. I had to come over here from Sharon's to see what all you were up to! Good stuff it looks like. So now I'll just follow you around!

Shayla said...

Beautiful, Regina. I bet it's stunning in person. I love floral paintings at that size and am especially fond of crab apple blooms.

Susan Tuttle said...

this is so perfect for spring Regina!:)

Laura said...

How lovely Regina! I'd like to try something that size, I'm so nitpicky about details tho and would probably have a hard time with that aspect ie. worrying about proportion - how did you find it?

Happy Spring & blessings to you!

Paula said...

These are lovely, Regina! You're tempting me go beyond my journal..to go bigger. (Scares me!) I'm fascinated by your test pages...what an interesting book this would be to pick up peruse/

PJ said...

I really enjoy seeing a process of your painting!