Intense painting session: learning to be aggressive

The beauty of working from a small study or plan, for me, means I am free to forge ahead with freedom and confidence. This means, full speed ahead! Two posts ago you saw my beginning plan. Major color and composition decisions are already made. The rest is going to happen with a few thoughts in my head and what I see when the new paint hits the canvas. Here’s a view of a still unfinished painting, fairly far along, though.

Here’s a rustic photo of what I encountered on the easel at the beginning of the session. As I determined last night, I began with the reds, starting with the more pure color and quickly darkening another section of the mix to become a dark burgundy. Near blue-black followed, as I worked in what would become a dark background illusion. The reds would be gaudy without a surrounding of dark neutrals.

I’m pretty happy with the effects going on in this painting, and surprised that the focal point shifted from what I had intended to be the central aqua area in the original sketch to the left yellow-green blossom in the lower left. When I squint, it still dominates, although the reds in the right lower left are next in line for attention. Decided to keep the lines throughout the painting that seem to indicate leaf shapes drawn, not painted.

Next: Adding highlights and tweaking shapes, values and overall color check.

At one point I was holding the palette at a tilt, and then noticed a cool effect on the dish itself. The process of painting is so joyful to me. I see new ideas everywhere once I take time to stop and look again.

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