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  • Jane E Porter

What's On The Easel?

Flowers, flowers, flowers. I'm experimenting with different styles and media with the aim of moving towards a semi-abstract approach. It's best to understand the subject matter before attempting abstraction, and this can be done by painting realistically first. Below are a few examples.

Pink Flowers in Watercolour
Pink Flowers in Watercolour

Watercolour can be very loose and have an abstract quality to it. It kind of has a mind of its own if you let it. It was a good place to start.

Abstract painting of red flowers with text
All That You Desire, mixed media on canvas board

I was going for a street-art vibe with this one, a bit grungy, using a blend of painting and illustration techniques. I like how it turned out 😊.

Master Study of 'Flowers in a Vase' c. 1866 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Master Study of 'Flowers in a Vase' c. 1866 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

A master study is always helpful, especially when you're stuck and not sure what to paint next. I love this painting by Renoir, and it offered quite a challenge. Although this painting is realistic, I had to move beyond that idea as attempting to paint so many individual flowers would be overwhelming. Instead, I had to think of it as abstract shapes and masses to be able to pull this off and not end up with something tight and overworked. I painted this in acrylic just to torture myself a little further - I find oils so much easier.

Turquoise Lillies and red Peonies, oil and acrylic
Lillies and Peonies, oil and acrylic

For this piece, I used acrylics for the underpainting, which dry really quickly. I then moved to oils so I could achieve greater variation in the colours and values. Oils also allow me to blur and soften some edges, which helps the eye to focus in and out of different aspects of the painting.

Thanks for reading this post and for following my abstract journey.

As always, have a wonderful weekend.

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