Monday, February 14, 2011

Portrait of a Rose

tags:  floral painting - red rose - 6x8 - alla prima painting - original art - for sale - flower 

Portrait of a Rose
8x6" - oil on canvas panel

Another Daily Paintworks challenge I couldn't resist.  This weeks' challenge is "A Valentine's Day Rose", hosted by Qiang Huang.   I probably should have gone down to the grocery store and ante'd up $5+ for a single red rose to paint from life, but I wasn't feeling that ambitious, so I went with a photo.

I absolutely love flowers, and while they have always been a favorite subject to photograph, I can only recall only one floral painting I ever did, and that was in pastel about 16 years ago.  So, this marks both the first time I've ever painted a rose, or a flower in oils.

I always thought roses seemed very difficult to paint, so complex, and I wasn't sure I'd ever even want to paint them.  But, a single rose sounded like it might be doable, and I loved the simplicity of it.   And, it gave me a chance to pull out some of those cadmium reds and the Alizarin crimson that I seldom use now.  I definitely why Qiang says it is easy to overwork a rose painting.  I can also see why this flower in particular lends itself so well to Flemish painting techniques and glazing; the hardest part was getting the darks dark enough and not losing the edges while doing value adjustments in alla prima.

I'm probably close to wrapping up the winter series I've been working on, and maybe I'll take on some more florals, including some in pastel.  I've been wanting to paint flowers for some time now, and this was a good incentive to give it a go!

Everyone is probably getting sick of the winter and snow, but here are a few from our snowshoeing trip at Andrews Lake yesterday.  My hand is doing great - thank you again for all the well-wishes - and it didn't prevent me from using either my poles or camera:

Waxing half-moon over the Grenadier Range
Andrews Lake is directly in front.

Wayne surrounded by aspen, fir and spruce
And, look - there's the moon...again!

Aspen trunks and shadows
More interesting abstract shapes formed by these beautiful trees.


  1. Love the snow views and the rose is for real!! thanks.

  2. Thanks, Susan! Are you going to do this challenge? I definitely think you should, since you're great with details.

    Thanks Helen, and I'm glad you aren't getting sick of the snow views yet :).

  3. Lovely rose painting.
    Would love to see you paint some wildflowers from life!
    First art workshop I too outside of art school was Qiang's. It was a blast because it was held at this amazing, eccentric, wonderful lady's mini-mansion in Mexico. Too fun. Anyway, I saw Qiang paint a rose there, in a demo he did.
    The bottom photo is my fave, in spite of the lack of moon in it.

  4. Fine job on your Weekly Challenge, Sonya. And the rose is not so easy to paint! Almost Spring... good time to paint more flowers.

  5. Thanks, Jala :). To be honest, I wasn't sure it would be worth sharing publicly when I was working on it...but, it came together better than I thought. How lucky that you got to take a workshop with Qiang - his work is wonderful. And, I agree - the bottom pic is my favorite as well; it's that abstract/pattern thing. Plus, the overall awesomeness of aspens.

    Hi Diane - thanks so much for your comment! Roses are definitely NOT easy to paint, but just approaching it as a series of small, abstract shapes seemed to do the trick.

  6. Hi Sonya,
    I am so glad to have discovered your blog, too! Your rose is so nicely done and I think you did such a great job of not overdoing the details. I also like how you arranged the leaves.

  7. Hi Sandy - thank you so much for stopping by; I really appreciate your comments. I made several changes to the original photo, including removing and repositioning the leaves. I'm glad you think that worked!


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