View Full Version : Sunflower in the works - help please
08-31-2005, 05:17 PM
Many thanks to Em (mustcreate) for the wonderful photos of Sunflowers.
I really have a hard time with yellows amd I am having difficulty with the shadows. I know I have gone too dark with them. I have some blue sky in place above the sunflower and I am not sure what to do with the lower half.
I used Lemon Yellow, Gamboge and some Indian yellow for the petals and added some burnt sienna and a touch of alizarin for the shadows.
1/2 sheet Arches 140 CP.
I can really use some input on this. Not sure if I should start again or keep plugging away.
08-31-2005, 06:09 PM
Hmmm. Looks good to me. :confused: Maybe you could post a link to the ref photo so we could see the problem? All I can think just now is that the dark center is too black -- no highlight anywhere. But the petals look rather good. I might try to lift some of the top petals, and sunstruck areas of the outer petals (at sides) to get lighter yellows in those areas, but the overall color looks enticing.
Yes, the lowest petals look too 'green.' Lemon yellow is a bit green, but I would have thought the gamboge would offset it. I think the shadowed petals are good, but you need much 'sunnier' light yellows on the other petals. Even just a couple very light yellows should make the whole flower 'read' as the proper color. :D
08-31-2005, 07:14 PM
I really like this and I am not really crazy about sunflowers. I think the varying shades of the dark centre and vibrant color of the petals really make it pop!
It reminds me of standing on the ground looking up into a tall sunflower with the beautiful summer sky in the background and would just continue your sky to the bottom of the page.
Please don't give up on it whatever you do:>)
08-31-2005, 07:37 PM
Thanks Lynda that was the angle I was trying to achieve. :)
Carol, thanks, your suggestions are always terrific. The center is not that dark IRL and I agree about the lifting some sun lit areas.
Here is the ref image by Em
Thanks for looking anc commenting.
08-31-2005, 08:46 PM
Ohhhh GIRL!! I don't see a thing wrong with this. I'd be very, very proud of it. Wow! :clap: :clap: I love your colors, wonderful shadowing...great green...and can't complain about the sky either. It's GREEAAATTTT!! :)
08-31-2005, 09:03 PM
Gail , Your painting is 100 times better than your reference. You have injected life into an otherwise dull reference .
Go for it , you have good taste and it looks Beautiful .
June :clap: :clap:
08-31-2005, 09:07 PM
So far so good, I am really liking this.. Keep going, and try a mat over it too, makes all the difference..
08-31-2005, 09:16 PM
Thank you Becky, Sometimes I think they look better on the monitor then IRL. Maybe my eyes are becoming crossed. It does look better 15 feet away. :D
Thank you June, I am wondering about some deep huge sunflower leaves on the viewers bottom right and then merging into some sunlit ones , bottom left Thoughts?
I am not quite ready to put the matte over it. I have white mattes in all sizes and I do use them as I get closer to the finish.
08-31-2005, 10:00 PM
Take it to a mirror. Have you done that before? I've been doing it and I'm amazed the painting that I see in the mirror. ;)
08-31-2005, 10:30 PM
Great idea Becky, Thanks, and no I have never done that before. Excellent tip.
09-01-2005, 06:59 AM
Hmmm, after seeing Ems' photo I am wondering how a very dark blue-violet sky would look. Seems to me it would pop the yellows just as the photo did. Do you have phot shop where you could try it? If not maybe someone could try it for you. I do love your yellows.
09-01-2005, 08:23 AM
Thanks Otter, I do have photoshop and will give it a try.
I too like yours better than the ref. More gradation & variation of color. Nice job on the greens too. You can hardly paint a sunflower wrong, there are soooo many varieties & color variations.
The mirror really helps me. I am lucky to be able to take over an extra bathroom for my studio, so a large wall mirror is right in front of my painting area. I use it all the time without even thinking. It gives the illusion of seeing your painting from a greater distance than is actually possible in a room with 3 ft between you & the wall. :p Getting more than 5 inches from my painting? What a concept! :D
09-02-2005, 12:17 PM
I do not think you've gone too dark on your petal shadows Gail....it's a dramatically lit photo and you've reflected that in your work.
excellent suggestion by Carol to scrub back some highlights in the dark center.
I like the idea of a deeper violet background....wow would that make your yellow pop!! not exactly a deep value though.....I would suggest the same blue violet you have now....just more saturated
thanks for choosing my photo:)
09-02-2005, 12:52 PM
Gail, I agree with June. This is gorgeous.
If you would like, then you could darken the darkest shadows inside on the immediate left of the dark center (where it's darkest in the photo) then it will help melt and lose that edge of the dark center. That's the only thing that I can see that I would do if it were mine.
I sure think that you did a perfect job of painting this beautiful photo.
Also, I love that blue background petal that is in shadow. Very pretty against the yellow flower.:)
Lots of clappies and smilies to you. ;)
09-02-2005, 05:35 PM
Looking great Gail!!! Good suggestions re background! Don't forget: put a mat and a pane of glass in front to view it - makes ALL the diffeence!!
09-02-2005, 05:51 PM
I think this is coming along really well! I didn't have any suggestions, but it looks like all the bases have been covered! Way to go!
09-02-2005, 06:25 PM
Thanks Lorraine! will hold this one up to a mirror.
Celeste, thanks, I will deepen those shadows you referred to.
Thanks Em and Uschi. Good suggestions. What do you all think about some leaves below the flower?
Lyn, thanks for looking and your encouragement.
09-02-2005, 08:30 PM
It is looking good, Gail! My pictures always look 100% better at 15 feet or more LOL This will look great when you are done! :D :D
09-02-2005, 11:04 PM
What do you all think about some leaves below the flower?
most definitely Gail!!!
09-03-2005, 07:04 AM
Not sure if I should start again or keep plugging away.
How could you possibly think that! This is a wonderful start. Your drawing is so graceful and fluid and the yellows in the petals are gorgeous. The center looks a little dark, but maybe you can scratch out a couple of highlights here and there with a razor blade when you are done.
I like the idea of darkening the BG as suggested and "Yes" to your question about leaves below the flower too.
Keep going, you are doing great.
09-03-2005, 07:55 AM
Keep going Gail this is a wonderful start! I agree with the suggestions of a darker background and lifting some highlights on the petals for more contrast. I think the idea for leaves below the flower adds to the composition.
09-03-2005, 11:57 AM
A Hint of leaf , maybe no definition in the Bottom right would work. It is so good , I would tread carefully . As Uschi said , Test Mat it and see if it really needs anything.
09-03-2005, 12:45 PM
Hey, if you don't like it then I'll take it off your hands. ;)
Really, looks beautiful.
09-03-2005, 03:29 PM
I think it looks a lot like a van Gogh sunflower!! Very nice brushstrokes, great variations of yellow!!
I really like it as it is.
09-03-2005, 05:18 PM
Thank you Jutta, Sylvia, June and Em. I worked on this this afternoon and didn't like where it was going so I did a complete turn around and went for drama. :)
I have put another glaze of colour on the background and clean up the petals somewhat. Your input on new direction is greatly appreciated.
09-03-2005, 05:29 PM
It's lovely. :) If I compare your new version with the ref photo, perhaps a touch of light on dim leaves or foliage, something at the very bottom, just to motivate/justify the backlighting on your sunflower; it could be the final, finishing touch. It sure doesn't need much.
09-03-2005, 05:59 PM
Going for Drama - what a splendid idea it was and boy, did it ever work well. The sunflower just glows - Bravo!!!!!
09-03-2005, 07:13 PM
Gail...Love the deep greens and blues...Great choice!
Wonderful whispery suggestion of leaves in the bottom green...Super finish :)
....i used to love to use the smilie guy with the sunglasses when a painting made me happy...the new version of him looks a little too snarky to use now :D
09-03-2005, 07:29 PM
you know Gail.....that dark background has really brought this sunflower into the spotlight!!!
09-03-2005, 07:56 PM
That dark background works beautifully..
09-03-2005, 10:37 PM
:) Thanks for the feedback, I was feeling good about the changes but did need some "clappies" to reinforce where I was heading.
JJ and Em, thanks for the feedback. Em, that dark background was what caught my eye in the original photo.
Maryrose, thank you for stopping by and ommenting.
Uschi, your input is always appreciated and printed out for future reference.
Carol, thank you for your wonderful suggestions, I learn always learn heaps from your gracious input in your reply posts. Thank you , thank you , thank you :)
JJ, thanks G/F..... It is always good to read your input.
09-04-2005, 06:04 AM
you know Gail.....that dark background has really brought this sunflower into the spotlight!!!
And i still love those gorgeous petals with their splendor of colour !!!
09-05-2005, 07:54 AM
Hiya my landscape painting friend who's now a floral artist!!!! Gail, your sunflower is beautifully dramatic... the back lighting makes it glow... I'm glad that you chose the dark background for it... that 1/2 sheet will really be gorgeous framed!!!
09-05-2005, 09:09 AM
Jutta, thank you!
Char, I really did enjoy painting on the 1/2 sheet. Even Dan likes this one.
One more glaze on the background and tidy up the petals and its done. I worked on the ACEO yesterday so today is sunflowers. Now for a title for this. I can never think up a good one.
09-05-2005, 09:55 AM
Let the sun shine in...and you did, for sure!
The drama element works wonderfully here, Gail, for this showy flower.
I think this has turned into one of your best works.
09-05-2005, 10:19 AM
Yes, you did a fantastic job on this Gail. Congratulations and I hope that you will now post it in the gallery! ;)
Mega clappies and smilies
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