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Creating A Gallery Figurative Oil Painting “Lady Bug” Finish

“Lady Bug”  30×30″ oil on linen

If you visit the previous post, you can see how we got here.  I detailed the edge of her skirt, touched her hands, and painted her blouse and the lower right foliage again.

One of the things that strikes me positively about this work is the depth. The contrast of the brightly lit skin on the little girl (positioned on a wonderful diagonal), with the deep dark foliage in the back hits me hard. The innocence and beauty of the young lady  in the sun contrasted with the mysterious deep dark forest behind. To enhance the depth further, the brightly lit foreground foliage leading the eye into the composition on right.  Careful attention was given to the layering of the background foliage to give this sense of 3 dimension to the work. It’s really pretty cool when a flat surface gives the illusion of depth. When I look at this background I really feel like Im looking deep into a forest. Close values and softening the right edges creates this illusion. I also chose to keep texture off this background and used it moderately in the foreground.

Of course, the eye is led into the composition on the lower left as well. The foreground foliage and flowers are intentionally not detailed so as not to distract from the focus of the painting which is the young lady’s face. This is not intended to be a highly realistic floral still life, rather it is intended to be a painting of a beautiful young lady in a semi impressionistic setting, and I believe it succeeded. This is one of my favorite paintings to date.   Soft edges were used on this foreground foliage, but as the foliage gets closer to the face, the focus and edges become sharper.

As a Bethesda Maryland based oil painter, I particularly enjoyed working on this piece. We visited   Landon School in Bethesda Maryland where I went to school very briefly and spent some time in the azalea garden last spring. Also being a professional  Maryland wedding photographer (with site at ), I particularly enjoyed the photo opportunities there. Of course it wouldn’t have been half as nice without my favorite little young lady model in the world,  Brydon,  and her mom with me.

This is a natural unposed moment in time and it would be impossible to ever capture again.

I thought I would share a comment about “Lady Bug” with you,  made by a man that I respect very much. Scott Usher is president of Greenwich Workshop, the nation’s leading publisher of limited edition fine art and his comment follows:

“This is very nice. It has a great presence. I know you’ve been doing
other work than the little ballerinas, but this stands out. The whole
scene really works together (figure and environment, lighting and
design). This is good work. The landscape and the figure really blend.”

Scott Usher

Publisher and President, The Greenwich Workshop

Now the painting will be packed and shipped away to the very prestigious New York city gallery,  “Rehs”.  I am very honored  to be associated with such a fine gallery.

Rehs gallery specializes in 19th and early 20th century European works of art and displays paintings many important Barbizon, Realist and Academic artists including: Eugene Boudin, William Bouguereau, Jean B.C. Corot, Julien Dupré, Daniel Ridgway Knight, Louis Aston Knight, Edouard Cortès, and Emile Munier. In addition the gallery features works by mid 20th century American artists such as Ilya Bolotowsky and Ugo Giannini and represents a number of Contemporary Realist artist, including Allan Banks, Barry Oretsky, Gregory F. Harris and Sally Swatland.

I miss my new born child already   🙁