Flowers and Orange Still Life

Tonight I spent a lot of time setting up the flowers and orange still life and planning out a nice angular composition. The the rest of the session was about accurate drawing and simplicity of my brush strokes.

I feel as though if I’m given enough time I can render anything down into a good looking painting. But the real challenge is to produce the same outcome with what may look like a lot less effort. John Singer Sargent, Robert Henri and Rembrandt (his later works) are the artists I think about when I try to paint this way. They could indicate beautiful objects or people with the minimal amount of brushwork, making it look effortless.

Flowers and orange, setup photo
Setup photo

Originally I was looking at the items I laid out here so the objects were more vertical. It wasn’t working so I just moved my chair a bit to the right and the angle from top left to bottom right brought in just enough action to make the still life interesting. I also really like how the green leaf is creating some sharp edges and high contrast for the eye to focus on the center then move out.

Flowers and orange, subject photo
Subject photo
Flowers and orange, photoshop cutout filter
Photoshop cutout filter

Here I used these two Photoshop filters not as a guide but more as a reminder that these objects can be rendered in very simple terms and still look authentic. I didn’t copy form these photos, copying would hurt my training. I need to be able to look at a subject and see something like a cutout filter in my head.

Flowers and orange, photoshop drybrush filter
Photoshop Dry brush filter
Flowers and orange, black and white photo
Black and white photo

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