White roses, cups and vase

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This was my first try in painting a decorated vase!  This painting is done in acrylics.  The roses are actually artificial flowers I bought at Michaels.  I have quite a collection of artificial flowers that I use as stand-ins for the real thing.  This enables me to paint flowers in the worst of winter weather.  The artificial flowers made now are stunning!

I painted the Chinese flower vase first with white mixed with raw sienna, and carefully did the shading.  Only after I was satisfied with the form did I paint the Chinese design on top.

Zinnias in a water bowl

I did another study of zinnias from my front yard but this time I tried to show the stems in water.  This was hard to do, and I looked at a number of other artists’ paintings to see how they did it.  I think that one of the tricks I learned was to paint the surface of the water in the bowl first as an ellipse, then to paint the water in the bowl and the glass reflections.  After this, I painted the stems stopping them on the water surface.  Next, under the ellipse I painted the rest of the stems.  The water does distort the placement of the bottom stems some.

Old tree by creek in January snow

This painting was actually started several years ago and I finally got it finished!  Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out what I did wrong and make the corrections.

One of the artists I most admire is Richard Schmid.  In his book Alla Prima,  he said that muddy color always turns out to be a color that is an inappropriate temperature– a too cool color within a warm shadow.