Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Smack-dab in the middle of spring


 Full House  © 2014 Karen Mathison Schmidt, artist
6 x 6 inches • oil on archival museum-quality GessobordTM
private collection • Baton Rouge, Louisiana

A very productive day today: This morning I warmed up with this fun little painting to celebrate the mid-spring arrival of the poppies, I also finished the large daffodil painting (pictures to come) and started a new commission, a dog portrait. Whew!

Must be the Cheerios and banana I had for breakfast.

Here are my work-in-progress photos on this one:

I hardly ever start with all yellow. But this time I did. 
Cadmium yellow light acrylic to be specific.

Then I added a couple of layers of phthalo blue glaze, making the background a transparent deep green. The deep green background will give those bright red poppies a lot of visual energy.

Next I started with the oils on the poppy blooms. I’m practicing quick color decisions, loose strokes with a well-loaded brush. Only one or two strokes before wiping the brush and loading again helps keep the colors clean and bright.

I brought all my reds and all my yellows out for this painting; my palette was:
dioxanine purple
bright violet
French ultramarine blue
turquoise light
Sheveningen green deep (similar to phthalo green)
Sheveningen yellow medium (similar to cadmium yellow light, but non-toxic)
Shev yellow deep (similar to cadmium yellow medium)
cadmium yellow extra deep
cadmium red orange
Sheveningen red medium
Rose dore madder lake antique extra (LOVE this rosy red!)
brilliant pink
quinacridone magenta
burnt sienna

Here I added the unopened buds and stems. I added one more bud at the upper right which was not in the initial sketch. I just thought it needed to be there.

After I added some highlights and shading on the stems and buds, I ditched my reference photo and started kind of abstractly adding color to the background to suggest the other flowers growing behind the poppies. The blues, purples and magentas around the yellow poppies really make them sing. And lastly I added my signature by scraping through the wet paint with the handle of my brush.

Check back tomorrow for a look at that large daffodil painting ...

Happy painting!


Annika Feiteira said...

Karen, that is lovely. I appreciate being able to see your work in progress also.

Leslie Bishop said...

Love this, Karen! Thanks for the progress photos. Your paintings are always so joyful and inviting.

Dorothy said...

A beautiful little painting! I also love progression shots to see how you work. Thanks for the extra effort it takes to do them and explain your process!

Eva Kozy said...

I love when the colorful background makes the painting sing, as you say. Thanks for showing the process.