Photo and Stage One

I had a hard time finding a lilac bush in bloom when I went photo-hunting. The bushes had all passed their prime. So I looked for a flowering bush on a bit of a hill. Hills are a little scarce around here too. But anyway, here is my photo for this project. Notice how the concrete curbing on the left and the white railing on the right emphasize the diagonal I’m trying to create. The sunlight in the foreground along with the shadowed background also create the diagonal. It’s a bit after noon so my shadow cast by the bush is short just like Van Gogh’s. Since my flowers are red roses I’m really going to play up the greens. Van Gogh was genius at juxtaposing colors with their compliments so I will too. My rose bush is dead center like Van Gogh’s bush. I’m ready to start painting. Here’s a photo of my prepped canvas. It’s a canvas board, 9 x 12″. I’m recycling a used canvas by painting over the acrylic underpainting with white acrylic paint. I know some people like to start with a toned canvas, but I see my composition better when I start with white.

Next I watered down some phthalo blue and roughly placed my bush, the background, the railing, dark under shadows and medium shadows. This will be my guide for the rest of the painting. I’ll just be putting the colors on top of this loose sketch.

I can hardly wait to get started with the greens. There are a few different ways to make green and working with acrylic paint can try your patience. That will be the next challenge. What do you think so far?

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