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Monday, 1 May 2017

Painting A Naive Pot Of Flowers In Oils

I love naive art and when I absolutely have to paint a still life, one of my least favourite subjects to paint, I rather opt to paint it in a naive style, than in the more traditional realism. Naive art is playful in nature and strips life of its complexities. It reminds of children's art and evokes feelings of nostalgia in the viewer. A vase of flowers can convey many serious messages, such as deep love, loss or congratulations. Rendering it in naive style, robs it of its seriousness and reminds the viewer not to take life quite so seriously. Still, there are certain rules that the artist must keep in mind when rendering naive art believable. I walk you through a naive art painting in today's blog.


I start the painting on a square canvas panel, measuring 12" x 12".


I use charcoal to draw the picture I wish to paint.


Then I brush the loose charcoal particles away to ensure they do not get trapped in the paint, muddying it up.


My background is a solid blue. The viewer get to make of this what they like. Is it a window? Is it the sky? Is it a wall? By not giving any more visual clues, I allow the viewers to make of this what they want.


I use Permanent Violet on the curtain. I simply included a curtain because I love the way that fabric drapes and I love that it adds a soft texture to the painting. In naive art you get to include elements that you like or find playful, whether they make sense in the painting, or not.


Adding Titanium White over the wet violet, I create the drapes that I find so dear.


As I am envisioning a glass vase, I need to show the reflection of the curtain in the glass. This is one of those essential rules one must abide by.



I bring Deep Rose into the opposite wall and repeat it in the vase. Note that the center of the vase will be reflecting the most light and remains lighter. The sides are in shadow and get the darker colours. This is an art rule that help the brain make sense of what it is seeing. I assists in creating the illusion of a rounded vase.


Pink is added to the wall and the vase. The pink is mixed by adding Titanium White to the Deep Rose.


I then add Scarlet to the wall and the vase. Notice how I keep balancing cooler and warmer colours in the painting.


Deep Cadmium Yellow is used on the tablecloth.


The polkadots are painted in light green. Both the yellow and the green will reflect in the vase.


When I fill in the inside of the vase, it suddenly becomes clear that the glass is coloured. I pay attention to the play of light and shadow on the edge of the vase.


I now paint the centers of the flowers.


I paint the flower stems.


The flower petals are painted white.


Add a light reflection on the vase in white as well.


I then used Lamp Black to add deep shadow areas and some interesting twirls to the vase. Playful and fun! A very lighthearted and friendly painting.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
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