Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Peacock Orchid~Comp and Value studies

Quick color study with colored pencils.
Here are my two studies. I chose to try one with the foliage and one with the addition of a spent bloom. As this plant begins to flower the blooms start low with each new bloom being produced above the last as the plant continues to grow higher. One plant can produce as many as 10-12 blooms, one at a time as the one before it droops and dies. The spent blooms tend to arch downward gracefully in a bell shape. The foliage is thin, flat, strap shaped and stands almost straight up.

This is a photo I took in my garden last Fall when the orchids were blooming. It was a windy day so unfortunately the image is a little blurry.

I love peacock orchids. They're so architectural and their height and verticality makes them a stunning addition to the garden. The blooms remind me of an exotic duck coming in for a landing on a pond. Even though they aren't hardy in my zone 5 garden I buy more bulbs and plant them every year. They tend to bloom when all else is done and gone. I've chosen them as my next subject for a painting. Now I'm trying to decide on a composition that shows off their best qualities. I've done two studies both for comp and as a value study. I may do several more before deciding on one I like well enough to paint. My format will probably be approx. 11" X 14" and I want to showcase the bloom more than the height.


Anonymous said...

I love this orchid. This will make a lovely painting Billie. I think my favorite composition is the second one because of the strong diagonal made by the leaves (and or buds). The first one would make a lovely duo, but I would like to see more than 2 objects. Odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye. What is the psychology of that? Wonderful to see comp studies. You are definitely coming along at breakneck speed.

Billie Crain said...

thanks Robin.:-) the second is also my choice so far. i did read an excellent explanation of why our eyes prefer odd numbers to even but i can't remember where. i did find this:

[quote]Your eye and brain can't pair up or group elements easily. There's some how always one left over which keeps your eyes moving across the composition.[/quote]

Mary said...

Billie, those a great studies and they will amke abeautiful life painting. I know it will be stunning.

Anita said...

I like the second one too! In answer to your question before as to how many studies - I believe our dear friend Mary did as many as 50 before she found the one she wanted!