View Full Version : Coneflowers

03-31-2009, 04:31 PM
Hi a new painting for today

its certinally out there haha

13x10" asst pastels

1st my underpainting...to which i forgot to take a photo of before i started blocking in shapes...so this is about 5mins in.

2nd is where im at today....i was thinking about chucking it. all the colors are pretty spot on except on the lower leaves in the shadows its really more of a reddish purple than blue.

any C&C's accepted!! thanks for looking:heart:


03-31-2009, 05:05 PM
Do you mean chuck it, as in you don't like it? Hope that's not what you meant, it's so spontaneous and full of energy. Take it off the board and don't look at it for a few days; you might call it done the next time you look at it.

03-31-2009, 05:16 PM
Nope don't chuck it! Just do as suggested, you will have fresh eyes next time you look at it. Such a lively and pretty composition deserves to be saved and worked with later if you wish.

Donna T
03-31-2009, 05:49 PM
Betsy, once again you amaze me by making sense of a wild and crazy underpainting! What aren't you happy with? I think this one is just so lively. I had trouble trying to get the real color of these flowers the last time I tried to paint them. Your color looks really good - vibrant!


03-31-2009, 06:05 PM
Stormfin thanks yeah i meant to toss it away but i keep plugging at it to see if it will fix.

adventure i do like the comp.

Donna ah the many things about this! YES! the color of those flowers is enough to make me shout and not in a good way! im having trouble with how the light is expressed ontop of the petals. if i go lighter i will loose the intense pink/purpleness of them, because they are mostly in the sun. yeah i think its the petals that bug me the most. i did have it that way and it looked worse.

my underpainting is crazy you say?:eek: :) i tried to keep it along Charlies idea of underpainting colors cools/warms for light/shadow.

water girl
03-31-2009, 06:07 PM
Yes, put it away for a while. I think that when you return to it you will see just how lovely and lively it is.

03-31-2009, 07:06 PM
Betsy.... believe me... you are your own worst critic! Those cone flowers are glowing with sunlight! They are lovely... fresh and clean....and so much fun to look at! ( and back when I was I gardener I never even really cared for cone flowers! ) Donna R

03-31-2009, 07:19 PM
Wow, very nice those colors really "pop"!:)

03-31-2009, 08:17 PM
Betsy, I like this high intensity painting of the coneflowers. Put it away if you don't like it.

Or sell it to someone who does, that's one of those cases where you can get paid for something you think of as a mistake, because it's gorgeous exactly as it is. You may feel better about it later.

My other suggestion is not to toss it but to take a scrap and do just a mini of it -- just one flower, then start muting colors with complements and using tints to lighten up the petals and get the different look you wanted in the first place. Charlie's wild and colorful methods are great and I've done an actual gray painting with them - it works.

You don't lose the intensity if the darks are dark and the lights are light, as long as the penumbra in between has the pure intensity masstone it still reads as that bright. I found this out with my pomegranate in Bullies, it reads as bright red even though a good quarter of it is murky dark red-violet-brown and another good chunk of it is pale pinks.

Paula Ford
03-31-2009, 11:06 PM
Love love love it!! Beautiful piece! Please send it to me!! How could you possibly not like this piece...it's GORGEOUS!!

03-31-2009, 11:29 PM
The colours are absolutaly stunning in here, just love it.

04-01-2009, 12:31 AM
This is great! I can' understand why you'd want to shunk it! Don't be so hard on youself.

04-01-2009, 10:58 AM
the colors are so beautiful! Please dont chuck it! :)

Adriana Meiss
04-01-2009, 11:11 AM
Hi Betsy,
Do not even think about trowing it away! (We need a NO- NO icon)
I have look hard at this, and it seems to me that all you need is to convey the idea of depth with color, and detail in the right places (I see more detail in the background than in the middle ground).

Personally, I hate it when a painting starts so well and then something happens and I do not know how to proceed. My first instinct is to put it aside and forget about it, as I used to do. But those pieces makes you think and be more analytical about your own work. So, play with it. A few suggestions here: Which flower is the star? Are they all needed? What colors would give the idea of distance (applying a light blue Nupastel over the colors works for me)?
You'll get there!

04-01-2009, 05:09 PM
Karen thank you i felt better about it this morning but i still needs something

Donna R ;) im not much caring for coneflowers now! :lol: thank you!

Tammy thanks i like them to pop!

Robert thanks for the advise i will take that into consideration tonight when i can sit down to them again

Paula thanks i think that Adriana has hit the nail on the head so to speak it doesn't more back into space.

Pete thank you i do like the colors pink/orange green/blue

dbjs thanks i guess we are our own worst crits;)

Joni thank you i will work more on it.

Adriana :) thanks i think you got what is wrong! a need for space!
thanks you!
you guys are great!

04-01-2009, 11:44 PM
Betsy...i really like this. Do not throw away!
It looks really fresh and warm at the same time. Very nice.


Mary Brigid
04-02-2009, 06:26 AM
Betsy I love it. Thank you for showing your progress with the underpainting. It is facinating to see
Mary Brigid

04-02-2009, 01:46 PM
Annette thanks for the support its great to have friends here!

Maryb thanks i like to see the transformations i wish everyone would show their steps more...it would be soooo helpful!

ok i worked more on this, this morning....not sure if i lost too much background now?:eek: I hope i made a "star of the show".
C&C's are helpful!


04-02-2009, 02:16 PM
Wow, I thought I liked it before but now I really ,really like it.I'm glad you didn't give up on it.Beautiful.Joe.

04-02-2009, 02:25 PM
Same here. I even loved the underpainting !!

04-02-2009, 07:44 PM
Joe thanks:o i like it better....now. Im putting it up to look at it for a few days....

Ceci thanks strangly enough but i really liked the underpainting too. it was crazy but you could tell that flowers were trying to pop out.:)

Lynne Vokatis
04-02-2009, 09:52 PM
:) hi betsy. i love how your flowers are always reaching for the sun! your underpaintings are works of art themselves,i especially like the picture when you have just described the flowers in blue line.it was very cool even at that point. the red buttons(centers i dont know what the center of a flower is lol):eek: are just stunning.i still say i see that childe hassam in there,,,lol ggogle him.hes cool.you have to take a boat out to the isle of shoals,cornell u still keeps up cecia thaxters original garden plans/gardens(coneflowers too:) )and take pix to paint.you would do them awesomely.(is that a word?)omg i should go to sleep. just beautifull as always.lynne

04-03-2009, 12:57 PM
lynne thank you! :lol: I might just try to stop at an abstract sometime see what i can do.:)
I looked him up his flower paintings are great! lots of little strokes of color.

04-03-2009, 06:02 PM
Betsey, it's fab - for me its the colours again. Call me crazy but I like the underpainting in its own right! I'm fastinated by your underpaintings, as the colours don't seem to have any connection with the colours you put on top. Can you give us some insight into your mindset with the underpainting please?

04-04-2009, 08:45 AM
I really like thoses oranges, reds, and violets against the green, yellow and blue back ground. :music: I think I hear then singing :D . :music:

04-04-2009, 10:28 AM
Hi Jools no problem although i probably have some strange rules and break others. its a fly by the seat of my pants operation here!;) i do have a definite idea as to what colors will be in the finished painting and go from there.

this underpainting was done as charlie's color class suggests. its in the pastel talk forum just do a search for it as it was a monthly topic. well worth looking into if you are considering on trying your hand at really colorful stuff. the only difference is i use the watercolor as an underpainting where charlie class uses hard rembrants.

soo....I am far from an expert again this is just what i did.
I started by placing colors from the warm side of the color wheel. (red,orange, yellow, yellow green), on everything that would be in the light.
everything in shadow gets the cool side (purple/blue, blue green).

the sky went red it could have gone yellow, orange for less of complimentary pop. but i wanted the sky to have something to make your eye go back towards it...not sure if it worked enough to give it interest.

yellows for the sunny leaves (closer in the hue family), because i didn't want them to be a focus either..

so that leaves the flowers with the green as a complimentary pop on the shadows side. the side that i wanted to be more of interest because it faced the viewer....hopefully making that side appear closer.

the red of the centers according to the class should have been a color close to red, but....i put red down because i wanted them intensely saturated. i did go in later and layed down yellows and oranges that did give a bit of pop. it probably would have worked better with the orange or yellow/green. but thats what i did:angel:

blue in the shadow area because that was going to be close to its finish color again i didn't want the shadows to pop too much.

Scotty thanks so much it is a good color compliment for the finished painting. Im glad you liked it.

04-06-2009, 12:42 AM
Beautiful painting, Betsy!


04-06-2009, 03:46 AM
Betsy, thank you for the info on your underpainting and the reference to the pastel talk thread, which I'm going to find. I'm going to have a go at something very different to my usual stuff next (no idea what but whatch this space) and I'll try the underpainting and see what happens. Thanks again.

04-06-2009, 10:52 AM
Binkie thank you!

Jools your welcome :)

04-06-2009, 11:56 AM
Betsy - I like it in both formats frankly. The sketchy part of the first stage is just really fun on it's own! I'm also pleased to see you made your avatar the sunflower. It reads beautifully.

When you paint another... try just leaving it at the first stage for reaction and see what you think.


04-06-2009, 12:23 PM
Thanks Barb I did like it at the sketched in phase so thats why i was disapointed when I was near the 3/4 mark, I think.

thanks i do like that one sunflower! I sent a copy of that painting to the Pastel Society of NH for their gallery, plus the pug. I finally decided it was time to get involved with artists in the area...:)