It's been a few weeks since I've worked on Sunflower #2, so it should be nice and dry to work with today. My oil paintings dry much more quickly in the fall/winter when the furnace is running. The dry heat helps the paint to evaporate more quickly. The first thing I'm going to work on in this oil painting is filling in the center of the flower.
Before I can get started I need to mix up my paint. I only use Gamblin Oil paints mixed with Walnut Oil--that's it! (I can't stand to be around any other painting mediums, as the smells make me sick.) My palette is always a styrofoam plate that I can throw away when done, or else save for a few days to use again. To save the paint, I just put another foam plate on top (facing the opposite way.) I don't like to keep mixed paint around for more than a few days because it starts to put off a sour odor. Plus, it does start to dry out too. This one palette/plate of paint was all I used today because I am working within a small range of colors. Some days I have 4 or 5 plates full of paint spread out onto my drafting table. It makes for quite the mess!
This photo shows how I painted the center. This area will need to dry for several days before I can go back and add more detail. What you see here is called "underpainting."
In this photo you can see that I worked on the greenery that's on the right side of the painting. I started at the top and worked my way down the stems. I painted a thin layer over the top of what was already there to smooth things out and add a richness of color to the painting. I still need to work on the right side, but have run out of time and will do that on another day!