Still.Life.November: Flowers, the fewer the better?

9 Dec

One week into December, 3 works done and 2 weeks late in posting them!

Guilt hangs heavy on my distracted mind.  It is unfortunate that one has to be taken ill before having time to pause for reflection.

Sigh… but nonetheless! Less about me, more about the “Art-making”!

Last month’s “Art-ventures” brought me face-to-face with my ongoing tussle with painting flowers.  Dare I say, I am making some significant progress in this area! I come to realise that when I have the time to sit and observe (and practise), I can finally do some justice to flowers. As long as I get some basics down pat first!

I spoke about composition in my last post.  This month, I cheated a little… omitting some pieces within the set up so that I may have an easier job can channel my energy to tackle another object, and give it the time it deserves.

Overall, I think the strategy worked. 😉

Still.Life in Real Life

From Still.Life.November

Now, what do you mean by “basics”?

Well, when I come face to face with flowers, this is how I process it…

From Still.Life.November
  • Observe the overall shape of the arrangement… sketch it in
  • Observe the general colour of the flowers and stalks… block it in
  • Observe how the petal grows (this is tricky)… part observation, part studying the flower up-close
  • Take note of where the light falls… paint in the shadows (darkest areas) and add on highlights (the lightest areas)
  • Step back and look at the entire thing… Look, think, note where you think feels off
  • Go back to it… Rinse, dry, repeat.

Hahah! OK, I’m joking, you cannot wash an oil painting. Durh.

Process of a Flower sketch

If you refer to the last picture, you can see that there are what looks like purplish smudges on the petals, which you actually don’t see on the real flower? Well, it was courtesy of my Teacher’s artistic touch. I like how he boldly incorporates environmental colours (in this case from neighbouring purple roses) into the painting. It makes the painting more connected… more alive… I guess, more artistic interpretation, less realistic rendering?? It’s a very iconic style that he often uses. I like it! 😀

OK, back to the main topic of the day please…

Presenting…. Still.Life.November!

Here’s the link to my picasa web album for viewing all the Work-in-progress pictures (opens up in a separate window).

This time, I tried to make a little slideshow too! I hope it works…

From Still.Life.November

Tell me if it does!

Nov 6: Pomegranate with Flowers & Basket

From Still.Life.November

This was fun. I really enjoyed the pomegranates!  The flowers were not so great… I know… It is still undone (see the white smudges on the right of the pomegranates?? They were supposed to be the small white blossoms. I have yet to touch it up. The purple blossoms also need more work. Yikes!

I spent so much time on the flowers at the top that I ran out of time for the ones on the foreground… painting is hard work! 😛

One part of me doesn’t want to “spoil” the pomegranate by doing a mediocre job for the flowers…

Nov 13: Yellow heels & dusty roses

From Still.Life.November

This inspired me to compose a story… You know how a picture says a thousand words? When I first saw the still life set up, a story formed in my head.

The pavement below the window was still wet from the previous night’s storm.  She groaned as she propped herself up from her hotel bed and looked out squinting from the noon day sun. She was hungover and a little hungry.

The vision from yesterday’s alcohol induced fantasy has worn away, leaving her to face the cold reality of the morning after. Her yellow high heels, thrown aside with passionate abandon, held the faded memory of a one-night stand.

“How much did I have to drink?” she thought to herself, as she struggled onto her feet to amble over to the bathroom.

A glass of unfinished Blue Curacao sat lonely against the faded blooms of a bouquet of roses. A note lay beside it. A tableau of romance. Curious, she picked up the note. Scribbled by a hand she did not recognise were these words – Mi amor… see you at the Santorini Bar tonight.

It’s not a thousand words yet, but I’ll write it if enough people want to know what else happens. 😉

Painting-wise…. (heh) I did enjoy painting the roses and I think I did a pretty decent job for the heels. Well, I should, they are MY heels after all. The glass jug looks a bit strange though. Hmm…

Nov 20 – Vase with grapes & persimmons

From Still.Life.November

One look at the horse statue and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish the painting if I put it into my composition. Hence, I cheated and omitted it! Wahahaha!

Well, I’d rather do a decent job with what I can, than to do a mediocre one with something I know I can’t (within the given time frame). In any case, the canvas was small and it would be such a pain to paint in all those tiny tiny details! Ok ok, I know an excuse when I see one.

I have drawn the vase before. In fact, it was back when I attended my first Still Life session at the Association! Oooh.. and the glass jug looks familiar too. Haha… the Association needs new props! How time flies…

Sep 25: pencil sketch

The month of December beckons! I wonder what surprises it will bring. It is my birthday month after all, I should be so lucky?


An advanced MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!! (I want to paint a Christmas tree!)

PS: Dear Santa, I would really like a new palette please. The one I have is fraying at the corners…. I’ll be a good girl (most of the time).

One Response to “Still.Life.November: Flowers, the fewer the better?”


  1. Still.Life.Jan+Feb: When you paint nothing at all « Still.Life. - March 22, 2012

    […] picked the flower of my liking, I observed the flower closely… employing my own flower observation technique and started to […]

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