Friday, February 3, 2017


SUNFLOWERS, 8x10" oil, ©Diane Mannion


Sunflowers were suggested by a friend so I've started a mini-sunflower series because they're a delightful subject… except for yellow.  I find yellow the most challenging color!

While making piles of paint in three different values on my palette to start with, light and medium values were easy.  I had every tube of yellow out to compare.  Dark yellow, especially a cool dark yellow, like the bottom right flower in the shade was a struggle.  

Piles of mud appeared, too much blue made green, earth tones made brown.  Painted and scraped, blotted with paper towels and started again.  TIP!  If too much paint piles on simply blot it off with a paper towel… see image below.

A dab of purple toned the yellow down.  A touch of naples yellow light raised the value of the "lighter" petals in the shade.  Yellow simply had to be judged by seeing how the color appeared to the color right next to it.  It could look yellow on the palette but when placed next to another yellow on the painting it might look green.  

Here's the painting progression from sketch to block-in stage.  Thought the left side needed something else so I added the amber jar and purple flowers.

Blotting tip… place smooth side of paper towel on top of painting and rub.  Pulls off excess paint so the canvas can be "repainted."  I use the workshop towels that are found in the auto department at Walmart or Home Depot.  Nice blue color, too!

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