Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Painting Lupines

Lilacs are giving way to lupines, and so we enter lupine season. If you had to present only one image emblematic of Downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, it would have lupines in it. I've seen species of lupines in Arizona and New Mexico, but nothing compares with the ones we have here. They are a beautiful flower, and you'd think they'd look good on your dinner table, but alas! They don't last long as cut flowers.

In the field, we'll have them only until the end of June, if that. So, when the weather is good, it's important to hustle. Yesterday, I was torn between mowing the lawn - we are almost at the point of needing a machete - and painting lupines. I decided I could do both, if I painted a small one and didn't take too long.

"Lupines, Friar's Bay I" 6x8, oil

Today, I got out early to catch them in the morning sun. I decided to do a square format for this one, and I wanted to nearly fill the canvas with them.

What colors does one need for lupines? In the 6x8, I used my basic Gamblin palette. Nothing special, just a cool and a warm version of the three primaries. In the 12x12, though, I added two colors: Thalo Red Rose and Dioxazine Purple (both Grumbacher paints.) When you're painting florals, you can't mix the clean, rich secondaries - you need to use tubed color.

"Lupines, Friar's Bay II" 12x12, oil


Debbie Shirley said...

I just got back from Southern Maine myself and wish I had had the time to paint the lupines. Yours are so lovely!! You really captured their character.

Dalan said...

Really nice, very interesting to see how the same composition looks in two different formats.