Peonies in progress.

3 days until takeoff!! Yes indeed, on Saturday we will board the plane here in Shanghai, and get out in Helsinki approximately 9 hours later. I am very much looking forward to it!

It may be that my writing will become a little irregular while home. We will mainly be out in the archipelago with the boat, so 'internetting' will be at a minimum. I will have my sketchbook with me though, so there should be something artsy to share every now and again amongst all the nature and sea pictures.

In the studio I have been working on my commissions. I thought I would share the progress photos of one of them here today. Peonies.

Here you can see the background (painted in acrylics) with the first draft of the Peonies. The canvas is 50x50 cm. The colours are a little dark to see, but they are both more greenish and more beige than can be seen here on the screen. I thought that should be a nice colour combination with pale pink flowers. 

I wasn't happy with the previous composition of the flowers, so I wiped it of and started again. This was better, but still not good.

Here I made the flowers a little bigger, and I decided that I really liked the two big ones. I also realised that I simply couldn't 'see' how it would turn out with the pink colour with just a drawing. So I decided to start painting the big flowers, and then see where I wanted to place the rest of the flowers.

I like this composition, and I think I will do a similar but on a smaller canvas and then on a portrait shape canvas. On this big square canvas there needed to be more flowers. I also decided to start to paint the flowers straight in oils. Normally I start with an underpainting in acrylics, because then you can get more layers on faster. But as I wasn't sure about my composition, oil is easier to wipe of and you can push it around until you are happy. In this photo the real background colours are more visible, by the way. 

And this is how it ended up looking. The flowers will become much paler in colour, so I think I will have to darken the background a little. But all those details are so much easier to see and decide upon now when I have the flowers placed. In the next stage of painting I need to decide how detailed I will do the petals. These double petaled peonies have a lot of petals! But that will have to wait until I am back from Finland.


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