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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Purple Rhododendron

"Purple Rhododendron"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
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There are so many blossoms around, it's unbelievable. It is almost impossible to paint them all. I wanted to paint sherry blossoms, but they faded while I was focusing on rhododendrons.

This composition was interesting to me not only because of the color of the blossom but also the shadow underneath it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

White Camellia

"White Camellia"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
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I probably will keep painting flowers until spring is over. Please don't be over! I'm enjoying it so much.

When I paint petals I try not to put more than three colors together as Richard Schmid, one of my favorite living artists, teaches. I love his still life paintings the most. I wish he made a DVD on how to paint flowers. It never hurts to watch how a master does it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Red Camellia

"Red Camellia"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
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From a couple of art books I remember the phrase "a little red goes a long way" and find it true. When I paint a red subject I always keep it in mind. When I decided to paint a gorgeous blossom of camellia I decided that green was going to be my dominant color. Although most of the painting is grey, I did my best mixing my greys cool, a little bit greenish. To make my flower more interesting I focused on using warm and cool reds plus a bit of gray that I created by mixing reds and greens.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunflower

"Sunflower"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
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Painting white was always a challenge for me until I realized that its color depends on the whole color harmony of composition. For instance, I have a complementary color harmony of blue and orange-yellow in this painting, so white is going to have those colors. It took me some time to realize it. I might have known it from a book, but to actually get it, it takes practice I think. It is so exciting when such breakthroughs happen... 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lilac

Lilac
6" x 6"
oil on panel
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I've been having so much fun painting flowers. It is my version of lilac. I'm very happy how this study turned out. I chose purple as a dominant color for this composition and just love how green leaves vibrate near it. I planned to paint it one more time but when I was ready to start a new painting my lilac was gone. It just doesn't last long in a vase.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rhododendron

"Rhododendron"
6" x 6"
oil on panel
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Spring is my favorite time of the year. Everything starts blooming, beautiful flowers and fragrances are all over the place. It is like everything comes back to life after months of being asleep.

Rhododendrons are very popular here at the coast, and they come in different colors, sizes and even shapes. I borrowed these beautiful flowers from a bush growing in the backyard of our house. It is such a joy looking at it. Probably pink is one of my favorites. Does it come in yellow?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Opposites Attract

"Daffodils on Purple"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
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I limited my palette to the families of the two complementary colors, in my case purple/yellow, and white and burnt umber. These colors support each other when side by side and weaken each other when mixed.

P.S. If you read my post about the last daffodils, these ones came from a store.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lily

"Lily"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
This study has a warm color harmony as my feelings about this flower. It reminds me of my childhood. I spent many summers at my grandparents' farm in Central Russia and one of my recollections was grandmother's garden with a lot of flowers. There were gladioli, peonies, crocuses, lilies and many others. My grandmother is no longer with us, but her beautiful garden will always live in my heart.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Last Daffodils

"Last Daffodils"
6" x 6"
oil on panel
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I've been hunting for daffodils for a couple of weeks. I've been looking at some flowers growing by the road were I usually walk my dog, but I just couldn't dare to pick them. Looking at flowers always brightens my day, so it made me think that other people might enjoy them as much as I do when they walk their dogs. The other day I found a field full of wild faded daffodils and didn't hesitate to take a couple of most cheerful flowers home.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crab Shell

"Crab Shell"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
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I spent a couple of hours painting with a group of artists today. We all were painting crab shells, also called exuviae.

Crabs have to keep moulting many times to become adults. "When preparing for moult, the old shell is softened and partly eroded away, while the rudimentary beginnings of a new shell form under it. At the time of moulting, the crab takes in a lot of water to expand and crack open the old shell at a line of weakness along the back edge of the carapace. The crab must then extract all of itself – including its legs, mouthparts, eyestalks, and even the lining of the front and back of the digestive tract – from the old shell. This is a difficult process that takes many hours, and if a crab gets stuck it will die. After freeing itself from the old shell the crab is extremely soft and hides until its new shell has hardened."(Wikipedia)

A friend of mine found several exuviaes floating in a river, she dried them and was very generous to share her finds with us.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tomato

"Tomato"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
Auction starts at $5! Click here to bid
I needed to step out of my comfort zone. My usual color scheme is cool. If you look at my work, most of it has blue color in it. Today I had to stay away from it. I used it to mix some of my dark colors, but it is hard to tell because of their dark values. I like how it turned out. The painting feels warm. So nice when it rains outside like today.

Do you know that tomato was known as the "love apple" when it was introduced to Europe and it was considered an aphrodisiac. Today, the tomato is the most widely consumed vegetable on the planet. 

Peppers

"Peppers"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
Auction starts at $5! click here to bid
Before being cooked these two guys had to pose for my study. One of my favorite thing in a painting process is to practice harmonizing colors. Let's say I have a warm background. That means my shadows will have a hint of that warmth...

Although white of the surface looked pretty cool to me while I was painting, I painted it mostly warm in order to unify the composition.

P.S. If you visited my blog before you probably noticed that I changes the color and renamed it. I wanted it to look warmer. Please let me know if it is too bright.