Week 6 & 7: Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem

{today's painting setup}
Today I was at the NGA to work on my copy of Jan Davidsz de Heem's Vase of Flowers. I will start by sharing last week's progress and then continue with today's.

Last week I decided to focus on the center of the painting and to begin setting up the shot for future sessions. Below you can see the various flowers and how some of them obscure items that fall behind them.
{closeup of the central area on the original painting}

Placement of the flowers is important, especially so because of edge control, so I began by painting the parts most in the background, with the goal to then paint the next flower that is directly in front of what was last painted, leaving the orange flower {it think it is a tulip, that has deteriorated with age} for the last. This enabled me to soften edges as required and overall enabled a more integrated effect.
{closeup of the central area in my painting, end of week 6}

During week 6 before lunch I worked on the curling leaf, the top of the bottle, and some of the flowers to the left of the orange flower. After lunch I decided to tackle the hydrangea flower that is the strong light valued flower in the middle. In a way this flower is the transition piece that unifies the diverse flowers in the composition. It took awhile to figure out a plan on how to work with the layers of petals and value changes. Ulitimately I decided to work in phases, by breaking down the flower into several parts and only focusing on how each area would work within its own scaled region. Once getting an area finished, I would move onto the neighboring area.

I did not finish the hydrangea in one go, however I now had a method to work with and would be better prepared for the following week.
{End of the day, week 7}

When I arrived this morning instead of focusing on the hydrangea I began to access areas on the left of the canvas that needed to be further refined and developed. The rose to the far left had been roughly blocked in a few weeks earlier and needed to be brought up to the same level of finish as its neighboring items. So today was about working on the second or third pass on some objects while also finishing the hydrangea. {I am still holding off painting the orange flower for now}
Some of the things I did was to lay an indian yellow glaze over the glass vase to warm up the cool hightlights inside the bottle. I also laid a muted green glaze over other areas of the glass vase to set up for a future large highlight. It is important to get all the foundational effects in place before going in and working on the final highlight details.
The hydrangea will be further developed next week as well, to warm up the shadows and help key it to its surrounding flowers. You may notice that my colors are of a higher key than the original painting and that is on purpose for the first few phases. I start with brighter colors initially with the plan to go back over them with finer detail and to lay down various glazes over them in later stages.

I felt good about the progress at the end of the day, feeling the pieces are coming together.
Have a wonderful evening, Liz