Week 16 & 17: Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem


{beginning of week 17}


I am going to cover the past two visits to the NGA in this post. Two seperate areas of the composition have been worked on over the last two painting days. For week 16 the focus was still on the hydrangea and then a second pass was given to the red and white tulip to its left and the wheat stalk.

week 16: beginning of the day
{week 16: beginning of the day}

{week 16: end of the day}

As you can see the wheat stalk altered the most, this is because when I started to rework the area I realized it would be better to just start over. After painting the background color over the area {a mixture of burnt umber and french ultramarine blue thinned with some medium} I began to reapply the paint and block in the wheat kernals with greater accuracy. Capturing the gesture of the wheat was important because it leads the eye on such a merry journey in this area of the painting.

I also went over the tulip for a second time, it was a little flat and needed a little more modeling. The hydrangea got another pass of refining, however I am holding off on applying the last hairline highlights until later in the process.

For week 17 I shifted gears and decided to revisit the lower right hand quarter of the painting. Working to finalize the large red flower with the dark leaves and the purple flowers, both of which I cannot identify what they are... Maybe they are creations for the artist's imagination, whatever they are they really add to the painting. I love how the bright red is hidden and really gives a sense of volume to the bouquet, where the purple flowers are actually more forward but because their values blend so well with the dark background they are almost hidden except for a few highlights.

{week 17: beginning of the day}

{week 17: end of the day}

When working on this area of the painting I started to flush out the location of the red poppy stem, so as to verify the massing of the large dark leaf that is below the red flower and visually bridges the poppy with the main body of the bouquet. With this item in place, I felt comfortable about finalizing the other elements of the area.

I am hoping to begin the red poppy next week.

Thanks for stopping by :) Liz