Carnation, Darnation!

11 Feb

I love looking at flowers but I am daunted by the prospect of painting them.  But I have to!  I have to work on my painting for the upcoming show…. argh.  Today, i am revisiting my Fishy pouch with red and white flowers piece to see what I can do for the flowers, while trying hard not to over-do them.  I know that if I over-do it, the paint surface will start to look a bit lumpy and not so nice – unintended impasto effect!

So I went back to the photograph of the still life arrangement and the painting I did that day…

I think I’m almost there… it’s just the flowers that need working on, no?

Pretty flowers, why are you so difficult to draw?????  In this ONE still life arrangement, there were TWO different types of flowers – carnations and roses.  *pout* Maybe I should bribe the ladies at the Association to be less challenging in their still life arrangements. Flowers really test me “to the limit”…  *cue Chaka Khan’s song Through the Fire*

In a desperate search for inspiration (instruction), I used the FotoSketch software to see how flowers would look post-processing with a filter that made it look like a pastel sketch. This is what it looks like…

I was hoping it would help me but IT LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME! Just blurred.  Darnation… Ah well, no short cut this time!

My search online for tips on how to draw flowers was rather enlightening.  It seems the methods were almost the same as for fruits.  First, you need get the basic shape of the flower down (usually conical or elliptical). Then, get an idea of where the various tones are (ignoring the colour – so tough!) and after mixing up light, mid and dark tones, fill in the areas that correspond accordingly.  Sounds simple yea? In theory anyways! In practice… not easy! I’m hopeless!

Watching this brilliant instruction/demo video by Lisa Gloria almost made me feel like throwing in my paint stained Good Morning towel.

Can you say “wow”? WOW!

But I shan’t be discouraged. I must at least try! A quick trip to the library!

After browsing books on how to paint flowers, I began to get some headway on how to proceed.  It’s amazing how much you can learn from the WWW and in public libraries.  SO you see kids, Libraries are COOL!  Haha…

Anyway, after downloading the information, I messed with my red carnations a bit more.

For a full hour (I didn’t want to “over-paint” so I set a time limit), I went “free-stylin”!  I aimed to capture just a suggestion of the flower, rather than a detailed realistic rendition, which I can easily get caught up in doing (badly).

< Tadah! Carnation (in red) looks like rose but it’s O…K la!

I still feel the compulsion to “fix” it but I stopped myself.  I think it works… Kinda.  The tonal variation seemed too narrow but I think I need to wait till the paint has dried to tell for sure.  I have been many a times deceived by my wet paint!

Argh… now that I look at it again… must… fight… urge.. to.. fix…

I’m still left with quite a bit to do before it’s ready but tomorrow is the day Teacher has a look at my homework!!! OH NO!!!!

*runs around in frenzied circle*

Update: Read about the finished piece here and here.

2 Responses to “Carnation, Darnation!”


  1. 4 weeks, 3 paintings & a whole lot of paint stains later… | Still.Life. by 宇晗 - February 15, 2011

    […] Read about my frustration with flowers and my efforts to recreate the flowers later identified as Carnations here. […]

  2. Happy Anniversary Still.Life! Here’s to 35 paintings! « Still.Life. - October 23, 2011

    […] Read about my frustrations with flowers here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: