Notes from the Garden – Peonies

TM9723 Notes from the Garden – Peonies 30×30 oil on panel

Not all days are sunshine. I love the overcast days with subtle grays and quiet moods. Changing the palette for my peonies to cool tones instead of the warm greens and yellows I’ve been using lately provided the mood I wanted. Details below. Enjoy!

TM9723 Notes from the Garden – Peonies detail from top edge
TM9723 Notes from the Garden – Peonies detail from center
TM9723 Notes from the Garden – Peonies – detail from right side

Technical painting notes: This exploration of peonies went through a few changes. I started with an indigo roll-up of thinned paint, drawing into the paint with pencil and a silicone scraper to suggest the placement of leaves and flowers. Later, working with brush and roller I developed more details – but it looked too careful. I always think of gardens as places full of movement. Peonies, with their slender stems, are always shifting with the airs. I loaded up my roller and started loosening the marks, letting the roller pick up paint and lay it down again. This helped. I also reworked the gestures by drawing thin lines of blue or green paint near the forms, so the lines could offer contrast to the shapes. At this point, the painting was coming together, but still felt too dark. Pushing through, I loaded the roller with a light bluish gray and tried blocking in the negative spaces (over the dark blackish indigo). Adjusting the light values in the flowers was the last step.

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