View Full Version : "Cyclamen" WIP

02-13-2008, 01:02 AM
I just started this tonight - 36" x 48" gallery wrapped canvas, painting from life. LONG way to go - just getting things blocked in right now.


Here it is on the easel for scale. It's kinda tough painting this size, but very interesting.


I'm continuing my still lifes from life series - trying to get interesting views and crops.

C & C welcome.

02-13-2008, 01:12 AM
That looks like it's going to turn out beautifully! I love the contrast of the coral color against the green leaves. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

02-13-2008, 04:38 AM
lookin' gooood .... :) ... it's gonna be a winner too !! ... great crop !

02-13-2008, 04:46 AM
looking good already Celeste. Love the composition.

02-13-2008, 06:15 AM
Beautiful painting... I always wanted to paint cyclamen (It's Israel's national flower now). Waiting for updates.

02-13-2008, 07:04 AM
Celeste - this is lookiing stunning already - I love the variation in colours already in the flowers establishing the warmth of the light source - looking forward to this unfold!!!!

02-13-2008, 07:34 AM
Thanks everyone - I was reluctant to buy the Cyclamen as I've always killed everyone before - but they were all SO beautiful and had such a lovely clean, light fragrance. The flower's forms and the way they dance above the leaves was very alluring to me.

02-13-2008, 08:11 AM
Great start as usual. very nice. Looking forward to see where this goes. You seem to be developing a great approach and execution.

02-13-2008, 08:59 AM
This is really looking good already. I look forward to the finish.

02-13-2008, 09:30 AM
Celeste, I've been looking forward to your next painting. This looks gorgeous already.

Thomas Greaves
02-13-2008, 10:01 AM
Nice crop on the subject, this has great potential. I would wish you good luck, but you won't need any of that. I'm sure you will perform your magic as always.


02-13-2008, 10:05 AM
I can tell this will be great already! I've poured a cup of coffee and I am pulling my chair!

02-13-2008, 10:18 AM
Looking good!

02-13-2008, 10:32 AM
They are indeed very beautiful flowers...I like the size you are working on, must look pretty impressive in person.
Soni :)

02-13-2008, 10:37 AM
Nice composition...looking forward to seeing this one complete!

02-13-2008, 11:28 AM
Wow! I love it already! Vicki

02-13-2008, 11:43 AM
Celeste, my sister saw this painting and wanted to paint it herself. Did not believe it was not done yet!
You inspired me to paint as well.

02-13-2008, 01:18 PM
WOW, already looks like a painting!! HUGE piece and looking great!

02-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Celeste, beautiful start to some beautiful flowers.

02-13-2008, 01:43 PM
Great size and composition of one of my favorite flowers. (I just over watered one last week, which is how they expire most readily...and I should know better.) Waiting to see how this develops...it already looks nearly done.


02-13-2008, 06:52 PM

It's definintly an odd POV, but it works , and it works well. I like it and can't wait to see it once it is finished.


02-13-2008, 07:58 PM
Thanks so much everyone - Assaf - that's so cool that I inspired you to paint - I'm very delighted.

Paula - let's hope I keep this one alive long enough to finish! I think I can manage a few days.

Cami - great - that's what I'm aiming for as the series is called "Not So Ordinary Stills".

02-13-2008, 07:58 PM
Very nicely cropped Celeste.It adds power to your piece!!!

02-15-2008, 12:31 AM
Thanks Tony - that's what I was hoping for.

Well, it's hard enough to get a good photo of something at night, but especially something this size I'm finding.

Anyway, I wanted to digress a moment so you could see how it started with the values underpainting in nice brown mix removing highlighted areas with clean water:


Now jumping forward to tonight. I worked pretty much only with Golden Fluid Acrylics and glazing medium tonight using a very large oval mop for the nice watercolor look. Hopefully with a better photo the details will appear clearer. Also, please note that the top blooms aren't yellow at the top edges (just my camera playing tricks). I introduced Golden's Fluid Blue Thalo (red shade) throughout the painting as the Cyclamen's leaves are bluish greyish green - I like the way the lovely blue glazes appear throughout the painting. Also, for tints, I just used Golden's Fluid Zinc White for it's transparency.


And here it is on the easel for scale reference:


I think I'm getting much closer to done now. I can see from the photo some issues to adjust and will study it.

02-15-2008, 01:29 AM
Celeste, this is absolutely stunning!
I'm interested that you have used Golden's fluids. Did you use ordinary acrylics underneath or is it all fluids?

It's very vibrant, I have been looking at it for a while, just soaking up the colour!

Selahs art
02-15-2008, 01:36 AM


02-15-2008, 02:20 AM
Man-oh-man, I feel the joy here!

02-15-2008, 07:19 AM
Thanks friends. Lulu - I used regular tube acrylics first (usually Liquitex's heavy body acrylics) - getting the nice blocked shapes, colors down - applied in pretty thin layers. Then I've found that the fluid acrylics are so heavily pigment loaded that they're wonderful for nice even glazes and good color saturation. Using the soft goat hair oval mop w/lots of water and nice glazes gets that soft look - even the wet in wet effect that adds so much to the textural richness.

02-15-2008, 07:31 AM
This is going to be one of my favorites of yours Celeste.
I love the size and the composition, but it's also how you used your palette with the subtle use of the coloring here and there, that appeals to me most. Way to go !!

02-15-2008, 08:24 AM
Thanks Sharron.

Question: do you think the blues that have been introduced are too intense - competing too much with the reds? Should the be greyed down & subdued more?

02-15-2008, 08:52 AM
Celeste my answer on your question about the blues is definitely not. It's the blues especially throughout that appealed to me and help to unify the painting. I really like them, they give the painting life and livelyness(sp??). The don't compete with the reds, they compliment them in my opinion. :)

02-15-2008, 08:54 AM
Celeste, this is just beautiful. The golden fluids are great. I find them easier to thin down for washes than the tube acrylics. For your question though.. I don't know. I like all of the color.

Thomas Greaves
02-15-2008, 09:08 AM
First I want to say that the progress you have made suggests the expected good result. The depth is really starting to show.
Question: do you think the blues that have been introduced are too intense - competing too much with the reds? Should the be greyed down & subdued more?
If I can give my impressions, at the moment I do think that they are pulling the eye away from the blooms, especially as they don't appear to be carried into the top section [the blooms themselves]. Rather than greying them down, per se, I would consider using them to reflect the warmth of the reds, which would provide continuity throughout the whole image. Too much though and you would risk losing your relatively high perspective viewpoint.
Don't know if that helps, but it's what I would do.
I hope you find the right solution, though, cos I'm looking forward to a really special finish to this painting.


02-15-2008, 10:39 AM
Very pretty/:)

02-15-2008, 10:30 PM
Thanks everyone - good thoughts and suggestions.

Margaret 59
02-15-2008, 10:47 PM
It's looking fabulous, Celeste.

02-15-2008, 11:35 PM
I thought about this all day and looked good and hard at it and with various suggestions, I decided, although I love the blue on its own, it didn't seem to harmonize and allow the "dancing" blossoms to really be the focus. So I went in with some brown and green glazes and softened edges and subdued the brilliance of of the blue. I think it's better, do you?


02-15-2008, 11:54 PM
I thought it was good before, but I do think it is better now. One of those instances, I think, where it is good to go with your artist's heart. :)

02-15-2008, 11:56 PM
Thanks Linda...well said.

Terry Wynn
02-16-2008, 02:07 AM
I loved the first when you started the thread. Very loose, I knew what it was but oh, how gorgeous. And the finished painting is so beautiful.


02-16-2008, 02:13 AM
Ditto on the composition, it's beautiful now, to know there is going to be more has me waiting with baited breath.

02-16-2008, 08:37 AM
Celeste, I think this is perfect. Gorgeous in every way.

02-16-2008, 09:26 AM
thanks Terry, Pat and Tracey.

02-16-2008, 09:54 AM
Know that I am going against the tide here but I liked the former look better myself.

02-16-2008, 10:40 AM
It's beautiful, but I loved the blue.

02-16-2008, 10:43 AM
:wave: Hi Celeste!

I'm a little late but I liked best the version with the blues. I felt the blues were very complimentary to the reds and gave the painting added zing. Maybe a compromise by adding some blue at your chosen focal as an eye-drawer?

With the question out of the way, I have to say too that I love this and your unique stills. Also, I enjoyed seeing the underpainting and reading about your process. Your paintings are always both a treat for the eyes and excellent learning experiences for me! :D


02-16-2008, 11:06 AM
Hi Celeste, this looks great now, and very lovely, but, I feel it has lost its flair, and joy with you subduing the wonderful blues and turquoise. Those colors before just made the painting pop, as I stated in post #31 it looked wonderful.
You are the artist here however, and this is only my opinion.
Also you can see it in real life, as we know paintings always look a bit different.
But, why not put the pictures of them here side by side, and step back and see what you think.
I did it here, and you really can see the difference!!! Just trying to help..... JMHO Shez :) :wave:

02-16-2008, 11:24 AM
lovely, lovely, lovely

02-16-2008, 11:40 AM
I LOVE all these wonderful thoughts...and just for the sake of a tiny bit more accuracy, here's the best daytime photo I can get of it. I think you'll see although the blues are subdued a bit more, they're still there. I've found it incredibly difficult for me to get a good, accurate photo of such large paintings. (Not a very good camera)


Anyway, the reason I softened the foliage a bit was to add more depth of field and hopefully allow my goal with this painting to become more apparent. I love the simple, elegant, swirling, dancing forms of the blossoms. I hope with this point of view and crop, and handling of the painting as a whole, it has accomplished that.

One thing I've learned with painting so large is that it's very easy to focus on the parts, not the whole. You really have to keep moving back and forth even farther, so it's more physically demanding to paint such large scale.

I'm happy with where it is now and I think this latest photo is the most accurate of its state. I agree about the "zing" of the blues and hope that the subtle touches of them here are more harmonious.

02-16-2008, 12:04 PM
P.S.: Elizabeth - thanks for that comment - I'm thrilled to share what I'm learning and always hope it can be of help as so many here help me so much.

02-16-2008, 12:40 PM
Ah Ha........Better Photo.....Yes, Yes, the colors are there, and in the flowers too. Now I can see them. Looks Wonderful Celeste. I love it!!!

02-16-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks Sharron - I really value your input.

You know the best part of this? I HAVEN'T KILLED THE PLANT YET! Okay - so it's only been a week.

02-16-2008, 01:40 PM
Thank goodness! The blue is still there - I too, was disappointed when the blue disappeared. I was willing to wait and see the results. Sometimes I know it is so difficult getting the photo to read correctly. This is much better!!

Glad to know your plant still lives un spite of you - maybe there's hope for me!

02-16-2008, 04:02 PM
Thanks Gayle - it's only been a week - check back in another and we'll see if it's survived!

02-16-2008, 04:17 PM
Nice work, and good luck with keeping the plant alive!

02-16-2008, 04:46 PM
Celeste, what a huge project! I love the subject, and the depth of the foliage is really working for me. The flowers have less feel of form and contour for me than the foliage, in spite of their bright color. If you've stated that you are finished, then I am sorry for that last comment....I generally don't do that once a work is declared "done". In any case, it must be wonderful to stand in a room with this giant, happy painting. Does it have a special wall planned?


Thomas Greaves
02-16-2008, 09:45 PM
When I saw your previous photo very early this morning, my first reaction was "Oh no! What has she done......she's gone much to far", .So I thought to myself...."Nah!, that can't be the finished item, I'll wait until she updates it later".
I'm so glad that I did. The later photo gives me the impression that, if I were to see the subtleties of hue and tone in real life, I would just want to hug it!.
I guess that means that I think you performed the magic that I expected of you. A Very, Very successful painting.


02-17-2008, 12:10 AM
Thanks Michelle, Jamie and Thomas. I'm content with the end result and feel that if I went too much further it would be risky. I think it has a richness and softness that are fitting for such a large painting cropped so closely.

One of my favorite areas is the blue pot - I wish I could take a better picture of the various glazes showing through. And, I failed to mention that when the painting was started, I applied gesso over the whole surface with a little house paint roller so it created a wonderful base texture on which to paint.

02-17-2008, 12:43 AM
Celeste, this is so beautiful. I, too, am so pleased the blue is still there:)

02-17-2008, 02:12 AM
Celeste, you did a wonderful job and have achieved your goals with this one. It sort of has a velvety feel to it.
Very fresh.

02-17-2008, 03:19 AM
Celeste, if I may suggest something at such a late date - maybe you could contour the leaves a bit more, to show their heart-shape. The top right cyclamen came out wonderful when contoured, and that what made me think a sharper definition could work.

02-17-2008, 10:25 AM
Thanks everyone - that's a good suggestion Assaf, and that's sort of what I was going for in the middle phase but felt that I was getting too strong a definition - so it was drawing the eye away from the blooms too much...but I'm studying it for a few days if I think some minor tweaks here and there might add something without overworking.

02-17-2008, 02:42 PM
gorgeous Celeste - I love the way you managed to bring hints of the blues in to the flowers and the reds into the vase - another outstanding piece!

02-17-2008, 05:49 PM
Thanks Ruth.

02-17-2008, 07:41 PM
The blue pot just works so well doesn't it?
Well, lets face it, it is wonderful in its' entirity!

02-17-2008, 10:18 PM
Thanks Kathleen - I'm leaving it ALONE although the temptations there to touch it again!

... just about have my self portrait done for the 08 challenge.

02-18-2008, 02:41 PM
:wave: I like the final on this, Celeste! I feel you've struck a good compromise with those blues. :thumbsup:


02-18-2008, 02:50 PM
Beautiful finish!

02-18-2008, 10:04 PM
Thanks Elizabeth and Debbie.