“Freshly Cut”, a painting in Three Colors

By

My challenge for this painting was to use only three pigments, Quinacridone Coral, Antwerp Blue, and Azo Yellow.
I began with loose washes.

Step One

Step One

Step two: I started on the newspapers, blocking in the shaded flowers and defining the background.
Problems: I reached for Cobalt Blue by mistake. I needed to find a way to integrate that area.
I was also not happy with the flame shapes on the upper right.

Step Two

Step Two

Step 3: I worked on defining the flowers on the left, putting them in shadow and trying not to turn them into cut-out shapes. The trick here is to hold back on the detail, especially on the sunlit side. I darkened the upper right corner to tone down the flame shapes (still bother me) and washed out that cobalt blue mistake.
Some artists like to completely finish one area at a time. I need to work on the entire painting at once, because my painting style changes from day to day – some days loose, some days very tight.

Step Three

Step Three

Step 4 and finished: I defined the center flowers, darkened the upper right area more, and finished up the newspapers.
I was able to stick to my plan of using only three pigments, although it was hard at times.
To me, the most interesting part of this painting is the light shining through the vase.

"Freshly Cut" completed

“Freshly Cut” completed