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!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sparkling Daisies

Sparkling Daisies
8 x 10 oil painting
by Pat Fiorello

Over the past 20 years, I have had the good fortune of studying with many talented artists/instructors. Every one had made a contribution to me. Whether I embraced their methods or did not connect with their methods, I always have learned something valuable.  My attitude when attending a class or workshop is to be open, know there is something to be gained by the experience and then come back to my studio, try out what I've learned on my own and see what practices, materials and methods I want to incorporate into the way I paint.

I have at least 6 or 7 ways I can approach painting flowers. The one I use most often is to paint with a transparent underpainting and then build on top with opaques. Recently, I took a wonderful on-line program with Dennis Perrin. I enjoyed his method and clear instruction. However, I was curious what would happen if I combined some of the things I like about the transparent underpainting start with the "Value Map" block in suggested by Dennis. This start is different from how Dennis starts with a drawing( typically in red), but just out of curiosity I wanted to see how combining methods would work. I have used his full method and very much like it, but just as an experiment decided to mix things up.

Below is the initial photo that was my inspiration and steps along the process. I was happy to see that this combined approach worked nicely in the finished painting above, "Sparkling Daisies".

In the end there is no one "right " way to paint a painting. Just like there are many roads to arrive at the same destination, there are many ways to achieve your painting intention. The key is to learn, experiment and find a way that suits you best. I love "Alla Prima" (i.e. all at one, wet into wet) painting. It really suits my personality to jump in, be direct, see something thru to completion and then start on something new. It's exciting and energizing for me. I've tried glazing methods in both watercolor and oil. While I can execute them with fine results, I find the experience less invigorating and energizing for me. However, I can appreciate that others totally enjoy this slower, more methodical approach and can achieve beautiful results in that way too.

So the bottom line is be a sponge, take in various methods and input from your instructors, other artists and your own experiments. Then you get to say what works for you. And you may like to change it up depending on your mood, painting subject or size of just for the fun of it. But at the end of the day, how you got there may not be as important as where you wanted to go in the first place and did you fulfill on your intention.

Original reference photo which I cropped to eliminate some excess background, wanted a closer in viewpoint
Transparent Underpainting Start

Starting to map in the painting by  building "Value Shapes", starting with darkest value and heading toward lightest value( lightest lights not in yet)

Further refinement

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  1. Nicely said Pat! So much of what you are saying really resonates with me. Like you, I love learning and trying new things as well as painting alla prima. There is always something to be learned from everyone, that's the beauty, we take their tips and approach and make it ours! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Nice! I like how the yellow undertone comes through