#63 - Sunflowers and still-lifes on a larger scale

Last Summer Sunflowers
16 x 18
oil on canvas

Fall is here and the late summer flowers are ending.  These are some sunflowers - one of my and my daughter's favorite flowers.  It's a bold goodbye, but a beautiful one.  I have decided on my own bold step before fall - a larger painting.  I wanted to test my knowledge of creating depth, using different paint thicknesses and understanding of light.  It's taken me almost three weeks, mainly because I've needed space from the canvas to see what the next step should be.

I started with just blocking in the basic shapes, and establishing the foreground.  Then I worked on the flowers on the table and the shadows, then the vase, and then the background and larger sunflowers.  Lesson 1 now learned: always work on the background first.  I went over the background several times, and wiped it off several times more.  I was trying to create depth and some degree of lighting behind the vase and on the wall.  I didn't want it to be a flat black.  I had got it to this point where it was chalky from being wiped off and then tried my hand at a glaze to darken it without adding thick paint.  That's when I decided glazing should have a more important place on my "Still To Learn" list.  

I'm still wanting to go back in and soften the edges of the petals (another "Still To Learn" subject), but I'm taking a break and trying some other painting first.  I feel as though I have stared at this too long and am going cross-eyed.  Adjust my eyes, re-evaluate the next steps on my first 100 paintings, and then do some touch-ups.  This is only #63 after all - 37 to go.  Just a bit over a month until I'm done with the first year!