Thursday, January 24, 2013

Learning From Past Experience - Part 3

Here is the third stage of my Cactus Flower painting. I have to admit, when I started it after creating what I thought was a successful first attempt painting a cactus with three flowers from a chaotic start, I never dreamed that the second version would be so much harder than the first.

I am seven hours into this project and while the painting is only 12" x 16" it has proven to be anything but easy. I understand what Vermeer went through though I am NOT comparing myself to Vermeer but understand the problems he might have had in creating his small masterpieces. He had to carefully observe his surroundings.

While I did leave spaces between the parts of a cactus flute, what I noticed this time, and not the last, was how much color there was. On the surface a cactus flute is green. And it is. Yet, it is often so many shades of green. It's yellow green in it youth, then darkens to a medium green and often a teal in the shadows. The depths are nearly black green with silver greens and pinks on the edges. Check it out.

Then there are the nasty spines. Each group grows out of an edge that suddenly is another color, often pinkish. It creates quite a contrast on younger flutes but blends easily with the edges of older aging flutes. As you can see here, the flutes are now all painted, depending on age, edges are aged or left yellow green with the areoles another color ready for their spines. What has been successful has been the creating of the flutes. Now, to see if the flower makes or breaks the painting.

Check out earlier blogs to see the stages of this painting.

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