It's been a few busy days. My studio is much further along than the last time we spoke. :-) and I've attended my first atelier class with Tenaya Sims. A terrific day! But I'll save that for another time. Let's get started.
In the last session I stated that I wanted to revisit the background. I felt it was too busy and so the first thing I did upon opening this session was to oil out with Maroger and then repaint the background. I mixed a new mixture with Raw Umber, Cad Yellow and a touch of Cobalt Blue to cool the mixture. It looks a bit warm here but that's the light. As my windows are now completely blocked off with plywood (they took them out to put them in the new construction), I didn't have any cool natural light to balance the overheads. I think in later photos, it's true tone will become evident. Anyway, it looks better. Don't you think? All those swirls in the background were just too distracting. This is just the right amount of atmosphere and light.
I've added some twigs here for interest. Remember that straight lines are much more attractive than lines that are curvy. In this case, the straight lines form a nice contrast to the curves of the petals and help to create directional lines for the composition. These were done with a palette knife. A little trick I learned at the David Leffel workshop. Slide the edge of your palette knife through the pant and then carefully set the edge against the canvas and pull the knife outward in the desired direction. It does take a bit of practice, but it's well worth the time investment.