Step by Step Through a Painting: 'Freesias and Vintage Tea Cup'
I just wanted to show how I created the painting ‘Yellow Freesias and Vintage Cup’ from the set-up shown on the left, in stages. It actually took me about a week to complete it.
Step 1 I always work on gessoed mdf as I like the hard surface, and I start off by applying a thin acrylic burnt sienna ground as I don’t really like working on white. This takes about 10 minutes to dry, then I make a rough drawing of the subject in front of me in pastel pencil or thinned oil paint. Then I get going on the flowers – the most important thing is to get them done as quickly as possible as they soon change! I use warm and cool yellows mixed with a little purple in some areas (purple tones the yellow down), raw umber and rose madder for the subtle tones of the flowers.
Step 2 As you can see, I’ve just about finished the flowers, but if they don’t change I will keep working on them throughout… I’ve painted the satin cushion cover in the background using Paynes Grey, Raw Umber and Yellow, to make a sort of greenish blue. I’ve also made a good start on the body of the jug. I mixed a combination of ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red and titanium white to make a creamy colour for this.
Step 3 I’ve painted the bodies of the jug and the cup and saucer. It’s best to get the basic modelling of these forms correct before adding pattern on top. I’ve also taken a good look at everything and realised the jug was too wide, so I’ve changed it. And I’ve changed my mind about the background. I didn’t like the severe line of the bottom of the cushion cover going across the back so I’m going to have the cloth going over it instead. I’ve made a start on that here.
Step 4 I’ve put in most of the doiley underneath. Now it’s getting fun because I can start putting the patterns on the jug and cup with a fine brush! I just added a bit of shine on the cup too as I couldn’t wait! (You’re supposed to do shiny bits and highlights right at the end).
The finished painting! Sorry about the colour differences in this picture – I used a scanner so it’s more accurate than the photos I took for the other steps. As you can see I’ve finished all the patterns on everything now, and put in all the highlights on the cup and saucer. I hope you enjoyed seeing the steps I went through to create this painting!