Painting Pansy Tea for Two

I couldn’t resist painting another Pansy Teacup and Lesser Goldfinch combo. I decided to keep with the ring theme too. I think it adds to the symbolism of the pansy  – “Think of me”.

Pansy Tea For Two - WIP 1- Marie Cameron 2014

There will still be pattern in the background but I painted in the base first, after my outline sketch. Notice how the hue is warmer closer to the light source then gets progressively cooler and darker further away.

Pansy Tea For Two - WIP 2- Marie Cameron 2014

I painted in in the male Lesser Goldfinch right away – I like to make sure I get my main focal point right before I go too far.

Pansy Tea For Two - WIP 3- Marie Cameron 2014

The female Lesser Goldfinch is my secondary focal point.  Having more that one focus helps to move the eye around the painting.

Pansy Tea For Two - WIP 4- Marie Cameron 2014

Roughing in the flowers and teacup and ring. Throwing caution to the wind with my use of whimsey!

Pansy Tea For Two - WIP 5- Marie Cameron 2014

The trick from here on out is to balance refinement with freshness. I had to call it a day here and hope that I don’t wreck it tomorrow!


Painting Pansy Tea

Now that I have my reference material all composed, I am able to precede with my Pansy Tea painting.

Pansy Tea WIP 1 - Marie Cameron 2014

I like to sketch out my outlines with thinned oils on a white ground. I feel it helps me to maintain a clarity and vibrancy of color.

Pansy Tea WIP 2 - Marie Cameron 2014

I begin to block in a bit of color as I feel more confident about the way the drawing is going.

Pansy Tea WIP 3 - Marie Cameron 2014

Since the bird is the primary subject, I wanted to concentrate on it first.

Pansy Tea WIP 4 - Marie Cameron 2014

The next goal I had was to work the entire canvas (all twelve inches of it).

Pansy Tea WIP 5 - Marie Cameron 2014

Here I’ve built up highlights, shadows and details.

Pansy Tea WIP 6 - Marie Cameron 2014

I will continue along this path, adding glazes to tone down areas until I feel it has enough depth and presence.  Speaking of presence,  I see my little finch is looking more like a chubby chick!  Taking pictures as you go along is a great way of seeing your work in a new way. Let’s see what I can do about that tomorrow!


Making Pansy Tea

Those wild birds simply refuse to join me in the studio but through the miracle that is Photoshop I am able to integrate my birding photos with my still-life set ups. I can use my magic lasso and drag them about with my mouse, scale them up or down and even flip them if so required until they find their place in the composition. So immediate, so satisfying!  Here’s a tip though, make sure your light sources are coming from the same direction of you’re going to have to make it up on the painting side.

Now which one to choose?

Pansy Tea Prototype 1 - Marie Cameron 2014

Female Lesser Goldfinch

The overlapping of the pansies in the foreground help to anchor the bird in the space. I’m going to look at more reference photos for standing feet but this is enough to get me started.

Pansy Tea Prototype 2  - Marie Cameron 2014 web

Male and Female Lesser Goldfinch.

Cropping of the subject is a nice modern device and can balance out the male’s tail in the composition.

Pansy Tea Prototype 3 Marie Cameron 2014

I love how this one is all stretched out and peering beyond the image but will need some legs though as there is no longer a perch available.


Frozen Thoughts Finished

I love the way Frozen Thoughts has turned out! I can imagine an entire wall dotted by these convex paintings in various sizes. I think that this format completely emphasizes the ephemerality of the fragile floral subject matter like bubbles of moments caught in time.

Marie Cameron Frozen Thoughts 2012 oil on canvas 16" x 16"

Frozen Thoughts convex painting by Marie Cameron 2012 oil on canvas 16″ x 16″

Frozen Thoughts

I have lots of must dos and should dos on my agenda. Too many musts and shoulds can stifle creativity and I really needed to do something just on a whim.  On Friday I took out a convex canvas I had kicking about the studio and knew it would be a great match for the heartsease paperweight I had photographed earlier this fall (sometimes you don’t even know you want to paint something until you photograph it). Here’s how it’s coming along.

Heartsease Paperweight - photo Marie Cameron 2012

I love how the paperweight has trapped the flowers in time.

Heartsease Paperweight  photo Marie Cameron 2012

These heartsease ( aka pansies or violas) symbolize thoughts.

Heartsease Paperweight  - photo Marie Cameron 2012

Even more than a painting, a paperweight captures a moment.

Frozen Thoughts Computer Reference Marie Cameron 2012

Printer’s out of ink – I had to access photo from the computer.

Frozen Thoughts in Progress 1 Marie Cameron 2012

I’ve painted in the outlines of the flowers and leaves to establish shapes and flow.

Frozen Thoughts in Progress 2 Marie Cameron 2012

I’ve begun to fill in segments of the flowers and back ground.


Frozen Thoughts 3 Marie Cameron 2012

I try to develop the reflections to help create the illusion of a glass dome.

Frozen Thoughts 4 Marie Cameron 2012

Developing richness and detail.


Frozen Thoughts 5 Marie Cameron 2012

Fine tuning those reflections.