White Mums – Part 1

Mums in China Vase (stages 1-4) | 16 x 20 inches | Oil on Canvas


White Mums features a blue and white vase with white chrysanthemums (of course). Unlike most of the flowers I use, these were not from our garden but store bought from a charming little flower store inside a local super market, ha. I love the way light plays with the surfaces, especially the depth and luminosity of the vase and how it contrasts with the mum’s flat, light absorbing leaves and stems. There is also the added elements of the mum’s spidery white petals and the glossy granite surface of our kitchen island. Of course at this stage the painting hardly looks anything like what I have described. But it will.

The picture above shows the first four steps of the painting. I don’t know how many more step there are to go (that is part of the mystery I love about painting). All my paintings start will an under drawing. That is the bones that all else hangs upon. After the drawing come color washes for the background to give me a middle tone to work off of. Use rags and brushes, I then lift color for define the lighter shape. Then block in a solid under painting with darker passages that will give the painting depth and glow at a later stage.

I will be doing quite a bit of color modulation in this piece. I hope to create a painting that will feel solid yet light and airy.


This story was first posted May 6, 2013

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