Lilacs in Progress

Mar 2, 2015 | Misc | 2 comments

Lilacs’  fragrant, fleeting sign of spring are so beloved here in the Gold Country in the foothills of Northern California.

I have enjoyed them for many years and have tried growing them in my shady backyard, sadly, with no success.  But, I do photograph them when I take walks in the neighborhood.   They are glorious.

As I’ve worked on this painting this February, before blooming time actually takes place, I imagine that I can actually see, feel and smell their sweet blooms.


Lilacs 2











1. My paintings start with a large multi-colored wash on dry paper.  Here I am using Winsor Blue Green Shade, Permanent Rose and Winsor Yellow.

2. I then begin to isolate my lightest areas by painting around them with further multi-colored washes layered on dry paper.

3.  At this point I have painted three background washes and started to define some of the leaves in the for ground.

4.  Here is a close up look at the lower part of the painting.  I am still using only my 3 primary colors.  They are staining and transparent so they allow me to add many glazes of color, modifying layers underneath and adding details.

5.  Now I’m starting to negative paint and add details to the lilacs.

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