Saturday, April 16, 2011

Geraniums and shadows

I mentioned that I want to learn to paint flowers, and I want to thank Janice Warriner for suggesting that I look at Helen Van Wyk's work and lessons.  I found a copy of Van Wyk's book "Color Recipes" online, and I'm loving it!  She gives actual mixtures to use for a painting.

This sketch is a practice for a larger painting I want to do in my weekly class.  It's from an illustration in the book.  She tells step by step what she mixed for the painting.

I don't have some of the colors she used.  Van Wyk says that Grumbacher Red is the closet tubed red to true spectrum red.  I don't have that color, I have cad red medium.  She used cadmium red light, but that's the only cadmium red she used.  She said cad red medium doesn't mix as well with white.

Something about this sketch isn't quite right, and I think it's values.   I was concentrating on trying to mix colors and make it look like a geranium, and I neglected values.  So much to think about!   Rather than try to tweak it,  I'm going to try another sketch.   I need to practice on leaves, too.   But I was pleased with the shadow on the wall.

8 inch by 8 inch oil on canvas panel.
Click on photo to view larger.


  1. I never heard about Grumbacher Red either, but I love the color you obtained!Have a good Sunday, Virginia!

  2. J'aime cette composition, il y a des moments ou l'on doute de sa façon d'avoir interprété un modèle, mais pour moi il n'y a qu'une évolution positive par la pratique et je pense comme toi que c'est cela la vraie réalisation !
    J'aime ton interprétation!
    bonne journée cath.

  3. Hi Virginia! I like both this and the next geranium paintings. I have a couple Van Wyk books and avoided red. cad. medium for years because of her. I have some now but do prefer the Grumbacher Red. It is a true red without "blue" if you know what I mean. Did I see Austin is in the 90's today? Yikes!

  4. your color here worked out well Virginia, and I really like the 'leaning in' composition.

  5. Lovely, soothing color scheme. Good Shadows!