Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mum's the Word ...

Orange Mum in a Spice Jar ...
 Orange Mum in a Spice Jar, 8" x 6", Oil on panel, © 2013, Nancy Van Blaricom

I think I mentioned to you that I was going to be doing more study where my oil works are concerned... Such as ... think about how to paint each subject as I paint it, how to use my brushes and what kind of brush strokes they make, etc.   

On this painting I set out thinking about brush strokes. How brush strokes in every direction suggest atmosphere.  Across suggests softness, down generally suggesting hard. 

On the easel ...

I set the little jar and a fake mum on a wood surface. Turned off the lights (in these photos the studio lights are on) in my studio and only had light coming from a window that was very near by, natural light.  When I first started the painting I had it on a little higher surface closer to eye level, but today when I re-visited it I just set it up on what was near-by.  I had to rework the glass spice jar and just a little work the background.

The easel and set-up...

I felt with this painting I have made a break-through.  I began this painting by focusing on brush work, I didn't try to finish this in one sitting, I accomplished most brush work by holding my brush at the end not close to the ferrel, which has been almost impossible for me before. I tried to focus on shapes I was seeing and colors as well.  

My favorite things about this painting: I like the reflections on the wood surface and the shine on the glass.


  1. Your brushstrokes on the mum stand out nicely, and I love the colors!

  2. Lovely painting. Yes, I need to learn to place each stroke and remember to hold the brush at the end too!!

  3. It's very well done, Nancy, and I especially like those little dashes of orange on the surface of the table.

  4. These small studies are wonderful. Have you heard of Robert Genn's "37" club? Sounds like a great practice.

  5. A great exercise resulted in a beautiful painting! I love our explanations...it is like seeing you work...the confident brush strokes. Great job!

  6. Oh, yes!

    You absolutely have a breakthrough.

    It is a truly delightful piece!