Monday, September 9, 2019

Tropical Overflow - Starting with a Preliminary Sketch

Tropical Overflow, 24 x 24, Oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2019
From solo show, "Beaches, Birds, and Botanicals"
Available at Anderson Fine Art Gallery

When I received this gorgeous flower arrangement from my sweet husband, I knew I would HAVE to paint it. I loved how the orchid blossoms bent and wandered freely into the light, while the many plant stems were tightly compressed in the shadow of the jar. As is often my practice, I pulled out a sketchbook to capture the parts that interested me...

Tropical Overflow, graphite sketch, 10x10
Doing a sketch helps me get the shapes and essence of a subject in my eye. Sometimes I'll make several sketches, until I find the composition I like best.

 Moving with wet paint onto the larger canvas, I first try to capture the profile only of the smaller image I want to paint. I keep my first marks light and outline-y (avoiding all detail) until I know I have positioned the whole subject correctly. 

Within that profile "envelope", I build out the values of the various elements of the subject. Having this underpainting as my block-in helps me hold on to the darks and lights as I add in color. 

Final painting, "Tropical Overflow", 24 x 24, L. Daniel

Fall Plein Air Workshop at Contemporary Austin Art School, Nov. 8-9, 2019


Barbara Muir said...

I love the passion and romance behind this story. What a sweet husband!

Beautiful painting as always.


Laurel Daniel said...

Thank you, Barbara!!! Yes, he is very sweet and amazingly supportive! XOXOXO