Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stems Plein Air 2014 - part 2

I had to take a break from the competition for a few days while I finished up a couple of commissioned portraits. On Tuesday the 20th, Kimberly and I headed out late in the day for another round of painting. 

I came across this group of irises that I found interesting, but once again, I would need to sit on the ground to get the point of view that I wanted.
Irises at the Overland Park Kansas Arboretum

The initial block in started strong. I treated the paint as if it was watercolor to keep it fresh and spontaneous.
A view of the painting block-in and the subject.

The foreground flower developed very quickly. Happy with the result, I continued to work outwards from the focal point.

The leaves around the flower added to it's impact and gave it a nice sense of place.

At this point, the sun came out in full force for the first time since I had begun painting. This changed the scene entirely, but I decided to keep moving forward.

Unfortunately, this change in the color and contrast of the scene affected the painting in a negative way. I felt the top half of the painting had become overpainted and heavy compared to the foreground flower. The red leaves of the tree in the background were especially distracting.

I made the decision to scrape away the top half of the painting. Never be afraid to do this when you're not happy with the way things are progressing.

This fresh start gave me a chance to loosen up without fighting the underlying paint.

Almost complete.

And here's the final. "Pink Irises" (oil on canvas, 12"x16") went on to win first place in the competition. I'm still happiest with the Iris in the foreground.

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