Monday, March 26, 2007

Rosebush, First Day of Spring

Rosebush, First Day of Spring

Painted 3/26/2007

This painting is based on a photograph I took last week. I took the liberty of demolishing my uphill neighbor's house, and my garden shed, and all of the houses and trees between me and the mountains a few miles to the South. Well, that's not exactly true; there's a ridge about a quarter mile in that direction that then suddenly drops into a little valley (which is how all the terrain around here is laid out), and most of the trees between this rosebush and those mountains are out of sight below the ridgeline. Still, it's fun to eradicate houses in my paintings simply because they're in my way.

I quite like the cirrus cloud in the sky, even though it is trying to dominate the picture. I also took a bit more care drawing the rosebush's branches individually with a 10/0 fine-point brush and a feather - compare to my sloppy branches here.

I reduced the number of branches and rose hips (those little balls at the end of each branch that show where a rosebud had been) by a factor of about 10 - I just clipped each and every one of those hips off the rosebush this morning, so I have a very good idea how many were actually there. And I probably should have darkened down the color of the shadow - in the photo it looks a bit grayer, although realistically it should be pretty close to the color of the sky. (The shadow shows where the direct rays of the sun have been blocked, but the area in shadow is still illuminated by the sky and any other objects reflecting sunlight. On white snow the colors of shadows tend to show up very well.) But overall, I like this painting a lot.

Note: Also compare to the photo and painting shown here.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I think you are way to hard on yourself. I really like that picture and I like the cirrus cloud too. It really helps to balance the picture.

I'm sure you've said what medium you use and I forgot (I do that a lot) but do you work in oils or acrylics?

D.B. Echo said...

Whim, I use acrylics. I haven't mentioned that in a while, I think. I like them because they're easy to work with, easy to clean up after, and dry quickly - fifteen minutes after I finished this I had it in my car and was headed to a wake for one of the ushers from our church.

But the main reason I use acrylics is that a few years ago some friends got me an acrylics painting set for Christmas! If they had gotten me oils, I suppose I'd be learning how to deal with oil paints!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Acrylics are much easier to deal with but I think that oils can have a richer texture.