Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lilacs of France; Learning from Ovanes Berberian

Lilacs of France

12 x 16 Oil Painting on Panel
by Pat Fiorello

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I took a painting workshop from Ovanes Berberian in France a couple of years back.  He shared 2 different methods of working in oils. One had been similar to an approach I'd been comfortable with before, which involved transparent washes underneath then opaque/thicker paint on top. His medium and approach was a bit different from what I'd been doing, but not radically so and I've since integrated some of what he shared into my regular painting process.

This weekend, I watched a video of one of his demonstrations and realized he used the other method, which I had never actually tried, so I decided to give it a go today. I went back to one of the reference photo's from that trip, a beautiful collection of lilacs.

I began as he did with the alternate method which is to tone the canvas with a mixture of  diluted thalo blue and grey ( sounds shocking already). Then lightly draw in  placement of objects. start painting vases, greenery, then the flowers both the shadow side and the halftones of the lighter side, but reserving the true lights for the end. One of his quotes was a good reminder "without the halftones, there is no where to go with the light".

Those of you who have been following my work, know this is very different from my usual process ( you can see an example at:

All in all I was pretty pleased with the process and the finished piece.  It was not that hard to adapt to a totally different process. It was worth letting go of the familiar and comfortable approach which seems to be working and I expect to continue to integrate this into my painting repertoire in the future.

Video of my typical method

Starting with the new approach.
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