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Yellow Lily flower oil painting.
June 19, 2013 9:17 PM

Artist Contact
Lloyd Thibodeau
1901 Country Apple Court
Fountain Inn, SC 29644

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  Sky Area Base Coat Painted In

First base coat of a warm golden sky is brushed in from a reference photo that I had taken while I was on vacation. I used Titanium Whiteicon, Yellow Ochre icon and Alizarin Crimson icon for the artist oil paint colors.

Brighter areas are painted near the top center of the canvas with just Titanium White and a small amount of Yellow Ochre mixture. More Yellow Ochre is added to the Titanium White as the brush strokes progress to the outside edges and middle areas of the canvas. Alizarin Crimson is introduced to the paint mix when brushing in the outer bottom edge but in a very very small amount.

When painting have in mind a general sense of where you would like your focal point to be. Where are the contrasts in your composition to be placed? As your painting progresses the focal area may change some but it is good to have an idea as to is location. Adjustments of these light and dark areas will also be determined by where your art subject is placed on the canvas.

What, Clouds Are Not White?

We generally image clouds are white with a silver lining. But if you look at the reference photo for this oil painting the clouds are dark and not white at all. These cloud formations are in shadow. Sunlight is directly behind the clouds giving this appearance. The only white and bright white it is, comes from the area of clear sky near the sun. We can think of it somewhat like painting the negative image of clouds of an exposed camera film.


The colors that I'm going to use for painting these clouds is a mixture of Viridian and Alizarin Crimson. Combining these two colors creates a Black color mixture that is then lightened with white to get a desired Gray blend. I may also brush in some Cobalt Blue mixed with Alizarin Crimson for a Violet type of color. Violet is across the color wheel of Yellow so this will work great for cloud shadows and make the painted sky come to life.

When brushing in your dark clouds be mindful of where you're going to be placing your contrasts. These are the dark and light areas that create the focal point. How you lay out the foundation of your painting composition effects the end result of your artwork.

Foreground and Lily Flower Base Coat Painted In.

I've brushed in the foreground and painted in the Lily flower. Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Sap Green and some Lemon Yellow where the artist paint colors used. I like working my paintings this way to tell me my art composition is correct or not. I'm able to make adjustments in color values and contrasts of lights or darks before I reach the final stroke of completing the painting.


Take for instance the dark brownish area to the left and bottom of the flower. This is where the focal point seems to demand the current attention. It is not where I'd like ones vision to be. In a round about way the painting lets me know that darker areas need to be brushed in else where. Areas of consideration are the leaves of the Lily where they reach up into the sky could use more contrast to move the eyes up. Also the clouds around some of the Lily's pedals may have their value changed to command more attention.

Notice the where your focal point is directed to as you compare the images of TWO and THREE. Doesn't the sky area demand your vision in image TWO where as the dark foreground in image THREE does? And after some more painting the focal point remains around the Lily flower in image FOUR.

Lily Flower Takes on Realistic Shape with Rich Color and Shaded Areas

Here the Lily flower is becoming more realistic as the features of the plant take on a more distinct shape as dark rich green colors are brushed in. The leaves and the pedals of the flower begin to stand out from the background of the canvas. It's by shading specific areas of the plant that this effect of which is near 3d is created. In my mind I want to see the cast shadows on my art subjects such as the Lily flower before painting begins and as it is painted. A walk in a flower garden is good time for studying floral plant shadows during a warm sunny day.

Yellow Lily sky oil painting step E

Changed Landscape in Oil Painting

I wasn't happy with a dirt road and meadow as a landscape background for complimenting the Lily flower. So I've removed them and painted in a pond with some rocks instead. By changing the painting this way I now have two areas that compliment the yellow lily flower. The sky color reflections on the many painted rocks and water will let me make painting adjustments that effect the focal point of the flower. It will be as if the cloudy sky and reflective pond are cheering on the flower.

Artist oil color Yellow Ochre is used along with Titanium White and Colbat Blue for the highlights on the water. Yellow Ochre gives a warm glowing effect when mixed with Titanium White on the canvas. It was also used in the sunlight area and so those sky colors then need to be reflected in the composition. What we see around us is the result of applied light. See image FIVE.

Yellow Lily flower oil painting landscape underpainting.

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