16x20 oil on linen
This is my latest studio piece just finished a few days ago. It was so refreshing to paint live hydrangeas this time of year around here! I grow hydrangeas in my garden at home but they're not ready until mid summer to paint so this was a real treat to be able to paint one of my favorite flowers in the first week of May. I found a potted plant of Endless Summer Hydrangeas in the garden center at Home Depot a few weeks ago that were in FULL beautiful bloom and thought they'd be perfect for painting and better yet after painting I can put the plant in the ground and paint them again and again!
I painting a lot of flowers from life, and I have to say for ME hydrangeas and peonies (lilacs too) are some of the most difficult flower to paint. I think it's because each flower has thousands of little petals in each head which makes it easy to get overwhelmed by the 'millions' of sweet little petals in this flower. I find it crucial when painting these to keep the lights and darks separate and only paint the darks compared to the light, not what the darks look like when you look INTO the darks. The darks have to be painted in relation to the lights to pull off the correct value and temperature relationship to achieve the saturation of the lights.
In composing this painting, I was thinking about all the texture in the flowers and the play of the soft elegance of the round glass vase. I like how it almost disappears into the background. And then the few little crisp notes in the 3 little fallen petals on the table top!