In the studio

I have taken five images of a painting in progress to give an idea of how a tonal oil painting evolves, with a close-up of a section. (This painting is no longer available.)

My subject - Fuji Cherry Blossoms.
It takes time to work out a subject arrangement that I will enjoy and with which I will feel involved.

I work with a spotlight on the subject, from an angle to create shadows, a dark background often, for drama, but need gentle daylight on my canvas without upsetting the original lighting.

Tonal painters work from dark to light, placing the darkest values first, roughly and thinly to keep the paint workable and giving the first blocks of shape and shading. Sometimes I under-paint an area where the flowers will be, with lemon or magenta so I can let touches show through.

Flowers are not a subject that will sit stationary over many days under a spotlight.

The painting requires balance of design, with subtle flow of colour and light with some excitement.

It is a good thing I love painting and solving all these problems.