View Full Version : daisy bouquet, advice welcome

05-12-2015, 04:32 AM
Hi, me again :D
Found an interesting reference photo of Gwen Card at PMP, with daisies I love (well... I seem to love almost everything). Used it loosely as guidance when painting - did not look at the photo after initial sketching, as it was not my intention to copy it. I wanted a loose and free bouquet. This is the result as it is now (photo does not show the warmer violets, so this is a bit too blueish - for instance the upper right corner is yellow not green)


I am not really happy with the flowers. Is it because this still needs darker values inside the bouquet, or because the flowers are all about the same value? I tried to gray down some parts, maybe it's not enough? This is a rather small size, 9,5x12" Pastelmat, using Pan pastels, Rembrandts and Derwent pastel pencils.

Your advice and critics is more than welcome if you wish to help me to see the weak points. Thanks :heart:

05-12-2015, 06:00 AM
This is a lovely painting. I love the warm and cool colors. The background is wonderful! I love all the different positions you have the daisy's in. I think you have done a very nice job showing variation in the petal colors.

05-12-2015, 06:16 AM
OK so the light is clearly hitting the flowers from the right, as we can see from the shadow on the tabletop.

So why are flowers which are facing AWAY from the light, still as bright as those facing the light?

Another time you want to tackle an image from an artist you admire, I recommend you go out and buy the same flowers, set them up in a jug of your own, light it from one side, and paint.

Or, look carefully at the artist's work, and try to learn from it - copying properly is a good way to learn. You cannot easily guess at the light. I have done just that, I know, below, but only because I have done hundreds from life:


05-12-2015, 06:24 AM
Thank you Bob, you are so kind :)

Thank you Jackie, you are right of course. I was aware of the missing shadowing yet did not really know what to do. BTW it was a photo reference, not a painting I used as reference - or rather as a source of inspiration.

The few flower paintings I have done in watercolours or pastels, are either from photos or out of my imagination/memory. Perhaps it's time to start trusting my own eyes insted, and do as you suggested :) . Thank you for your assistance!

05-12-2015, 07:38 AM
Agree with Jackie's suggestion, treat the flowers as a mass and shadow it with a lot of reflected blue since the background has so much blue the shadows would be that clear a blue. Looks good! It's got a looseness that reminds me of watercolor, very much a success at what you wanted to create. Good volume on the blue pitcher. Horrified you'd use a coffee pot for daisies, what does your coffee go in then? Looks like out at a cabin because of that coffee pitcher. (I miss mine, sentimental detail there, once had blue enamel pot and aluminum innards, plus blue enamel metal cups camp coffee set that was awesome.)

05-12-2015, 07:51 AM
Very pretty pot and daisies! Good advice from Jackie and Robert. Just IMHO, I think the strong light and dark contrast on the left side of the pot grabs attention. Try covering that area with your hand and see how focus goes to the top right, the daisies. Personally, I would darken that wall and take area to the left of the pot, blurring it so that the edge of the pot barely is visible.

05-12-2015, 07:56 AM
Another possibility is to change the direction of the light on the flower pot. Personally, I like the flower mass more in the light - with the light from the front as you have painted it. This way, your flowers remain as one value mass (and you need to do less re-painting!) Just a thought.


05-12-2015, 01:01 PM
thank you Robert... as to the coffee pot, I'm sure what the ref photo showed was an enamel coffee pot, yet ask any Finn and they say this is a milk pitcher :lol: - cultural exchange, you know. I understand your nostalgy about those old camping things, we do have something similar at our cabin.

Blayne - believe me, I did have less contrast on the left side of the pot, then changed it. Using pastels = moving pigment dust is so new to me, I easily loose the vision and just experiment. So this is no way something I would frame.I like your idea and will try it on this or on another exercise. I see so many fabulous still life paintings here I can only dream ...

Don - a good idea as well. I already tried to shadow the daisies on the left, yet it seems this paper does not have any toot left, so the result is not very good. Here it is, anyway


C&C, thank you...

05-14-2015, 04:25 AM
OK, still find something to improve.. I'll leave this now - learnt a lot. Thanks everybody for your support and kind advice!


05-14-2015, 11:39 AM
I love how you've finished your daisies, and you've inspired me to try to paint some this summer. They bloom here all summer long--they're actually the wild ones and considered to be invasive weeds but are just like the cultivated daisies, so I shall have to try my hand.

05-14-2015, 02:39 PM
Lovely finish! To me, it is the contrast between the white daisies and the darker colors that make this painting sing!


05-14-2015, 03:54 PM
Blayne and Don, thank you. I am aware I have a looooooooooooong way to go, yet I do enjoy every step!