Painting Wild Asters

This last month my morning walk through the village and lanes is dotted with clumps of asters growing in the ditches. They are shades of lilac, purple and a few rare deep fuchsia blooms.With their happy yellow centers, they seem to burst out all over our field beyond the studio. I don’t remember seeing as many of them other years and I’m not sure what was different about our weather this year to encourage them.

Asters have been with us for thousands of years.
Asters have been with us for thousands of years.

I picked a big bouquet of these wild flowers and brought them into the studio to paint.

This vase was made for these asters.
This vase was made for these asters.

I started with a rough sketch of the flowers using a thick acrylic marker.

Some yellow will peek through my finished painting.
Some yellow will peek through my finished painting.

I am intrigued with the effects of clear acrylic mediums and paint on canvas. Some painters like to mix acrylic paint or inks into medium to create a transparency. I like to cover my canvas with medium and then paint into the wet surface and I usually use a thin matt medium to do this. But often that medium dries too fast. So, I’ve been using gel medium more and more which is thicker and takes longer to dry.It also lets the paint lie on top of the gel…but you must gently drag the paint brush across the canvas and try to just touch the surface once! Go in with confidence!

Drawing into the wet gel medium and paint with a rubber tipped tool.
Drawing into the wet gel medium and paint with a rubber tipped tool.

The thick gel has the added bonus of showing every brushstoke which is apparent in this painting.

painting detail
painting detail

Next, I painted in a yellow background. I liked the colour harmony of the yellow with the blues and violets.

Yellow background added
Almost finished.

At this point I felt that I needed to ground the painting so I added a subtle horizon line and slightly darkened the space underneath the line.

I haven’t used this much white paint for a very long time, and I like the results. It really illustrates the airiness and delicate nature of the wild asters that I’ve been enjoying for weeks.

Acrylic painting by Flora Doehler, 2013 The china plate at the top is from my sister in England. The one on the bottom was left behind in this house when we bought it. I treasure them both and don't they go well with this painting.
Acrylic painting by Flora Doehler, 2013
The china plate at the top is a gift from my sister, Ellen, in England. The one on the bottom was left behind in this house when we bought it. I treasure them both and don’t they look perfect with this painting!

For now, this painting is available at my studio. Let me know if you are interested in purchasing it. I ship worldwide.

Wild Asters Painting by Flora Doehler 2013 18" x 24" $750
Wild Asters
Painting by Flora Doehler
2013
18″ x 24″
$750

Update June 30, 2014
I decided the painting needed more depth so I applied a thin coat of transparent acrylic ink to parts of the painting to give it some depth and definition.

DSCN3318

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