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Richard Schmid Flowers study: Things I learnt

After another hiatus from the forum..I can finally say I am back.
Progress on oil paintings (as mentioned before) has been quite slow...I have been focusing on draftsmanship instead of painting.
But now I will be painting in oils and watercolor/gouache fairly expect frequent updates from now!(not that it matters)

I decided to do flowers mainly because of my mothers constant pestering,which I am thankful for now.
I've always been fascinated by Richard's flowers..each of them are like a miniature portrait and have a life of their own.
After doing a small study of his work...I moved on to this this bigger and much more complicated painting.(still one of his more abstract works).
For me..this has been a remarkable study in many ways:

1) I no longer followed the dmp method to paint(there is no way I can replicate each splotch of color without spending an entire year on it.)
which brings me to my second point.

2) the point of this study was to test all the knowledge I had gathered from drawing.
that is...knowledge on drawing, tone,edges,vaule and finally color

3) I started the painting with absolutely no drawing.instead I began the way richard seems to start his painting.
with appropriate washes(and wiping out paint where needed).
Very adventurous I must say.
Richard has been painting 3x times longer than I have lived on this I took a risk starting with absoluely no sketch.

4)I spent a looooooot of time just staring at the picture,again..I didnt print or laminate the photo..I just used my 4.7inch phone hindsight..I could have saved myself quite a bit of trouble by just using a laptop and not have to deal with smudging oil paint all over my phone.

5) I decided not to panic.Probably the best thing I did...taking on one of richards masterpieces with no prior experience in abstracting forms to the degree he does was extremely nerve racking.
I just tried to enjoy the process and paint to the best of my abilities

6) I kept cleaning my I of the things that stand out in the painting is how pure the colors are.(that along with the plenty of edge work that went into making it)
This could only be achieved by constantly scraping off paint I didnt need..where earlier I would have been tempted to use the same color in some other part of the painting...telling myself it would work.
Richard keeps cleaning his palette to get the freshest colors on his canvas.So I must do as he says.

7) I pushed myself..
This is the kind of painting I see myself doing.Although I am copying an other artist...I tried to pick out the best elements of his work and put my spin on it.
Economy of strokes...boldness and abstraction was what I was after.
I didnt bother replicating his colors to the T...instead I tried replicating the color harmony...using colors of my own and making changes where I felt was necessary( or where I felt I couldn't do the original painting complete justice)

Sorry about the long and possibly dreary text...I hope my painting stands up to your expectations as well.
This has been an amazing experience for me..I can't wait to do more and learn more..and hopefully be able to successfully incorporate them in my future works.

as always I look forward to your opinion and criticism.
Thank you 
Warm regards

dencalForgivenessRonHopanwesharautchetanFlattywalkoWeatherfordJuliannaKaustavBOB73RoxyIrishcajunMikeDerby[Deleted User]RonnaJPBRichard_P


  • H.M.

    Works for me. Lovely painting.


  • edited June 2017
    You've done fine job here, H.M.!  I love the abstraction and the brushwork and texture. I find drawing with the brush instead of filling in a detailed line drawing produces a much more painterly quality that I see in your painting and which is very appealing. 

    Doing a painting after Schmid requires technical mastery that I am convinced only comes with time and hard practice of the sort you describe above. There are no short cuts if one wants to paint like Schmid. He really is a master.

    This is pure painting. Well done!
  • edited June 2017
    this is fantastic painting :) .How did you manage to check the colors from the phone screen?Can you please post the reference photo of it?
  • Looks great - you pulled it off!
  • As for criticism you def got the colour harmony you were looking for although a couple strokes of the brightest strongest green jump out a bit to me
  • I really enjoy this painting! Your interpretation of the original is beautiful. I had not heard of the periodic scraping of the pallet. I have found that when I clean mine at the end of the day, the color I make during the next session (with a fresh eye) is pretty much the exact same color. I was also under the impression that if you use a color in one section of a painting, it creates uniformity to use that color somewhere else in the painting.  Maybe I am missing the point of fresh color? Is it meant to be an intrinsic reset to force a second look? I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but inquisitive. May I ask where you found that information?
  • @dencal : thanks a bunch. Appreciate it!

    @tassieguy : it is quite an experience starting to paint without a pencil sketch... I loved it.
    It gave me a sense of freedom I hadn't felt before.except that feeling was nullified by the constant checking and rechecking of the original drawing.
    I agree.. It does give the painting a more painterly quality.i can imagine Sargent doing something similar.. Just blocking in the important shapes in charcoal..
    Thank you very much!
    The DMP method..I must mention has helped me a lot.. It is worth all the struggle.

    @rautchetan : hey, thanks a bunch
    I didn't check colors! But... My mental process while mixing colors was the same as when you apply paint on the laminate.
    I asked myself the same questions.
    I must mention this painting was done with an open palette... The strong reds could only be achieved with cadmium (still didn't have the most vibrant version)

    One important way of getting believable colors.. Is by mixing colors that are warm in shadows, with a cool light source
    And cool shadows, in a warm light source (sunlight)
    In this case... The light source was warm.. As it's visible in the warm Cadmium's..
    So the shadows were cooler(had shades of blue, purple,viridian) 
    While the leaves had more red,orange, yellow (I could have increased the general warmth of the leaves)

    And the background is also of cooler washes.
    This way..I didn't have to bother about getting the color exact.. But instead only had to focus on getting the harmony correct
  • @movealonghome : thank you very much!
    Suggestion noted..

    @RonHop: thank you! I really appreciate it.
    Right... The periodic scraping was mentioned by Richard in one of his DVDs...I think it was the captains portrait.
    The reason behind this.. I found was interesting.
    While mixing colors this way (is: non DMP way)
    You're just mixing color for a specific region
    Maybe just one leaf.
    The natural tendency.. While the color is still on the palette is to mindlessly reuse that color in areas that are slightly different.
    During this more free approach to mixing colors
    I am left with different shades of a single color that I probably won't need.
    But i will try incorporating it in my painting because it's right there.

    He says.. Its good to constantly clean your palette because you start with not only a clean palette.. But a clean mind.

    The harmony.. In this kind of painting.. Is from the first wash.
    As you can see.. I've adjusted the color of the wash in different areas.
    For eg.
    There's more purple and red in the top.. But as you come down to the leaves
    The wash becomes greener.. With areas of more transparency.
    That gradually becomes browner.. Then a bit red.. And reaches a more random mixture of greens, blues, and reds in the bottom.

    Also I've found the chances of polluting each pile of color you mix is much greater in this approach

    (Like if I had a pile of middle tone red for a flower. And I needed a bit of that red in a leaf, instead of mixing green, red a white..I would instinctively reach for that premixed mid tone red)

    I hope I've made sense?
    Let me know if my answer wasn't articulate enough
  • Excellent - and an introduction to an artist, I didn't know. Thanks!!!
  • Makes sense :) Thanks for explaining that. Maybe I will give it a go!
  • @H.M   fantastic study.  I am on my second reading of Alla Prima II and have several of Mr. Schmid's dvds - Mr. Carder and Mr. Schmid are two of my favorites - they go about it differently but get to a beautiful result.  I love painting on taped linen and being free with my dimensions - if you aren't already, may I suggest following Mr. Schmid and his wife on Facebook (Nancy Guzik) - plethora of information and workshops and artists.  I love your painting - thank you for sharing.
  • @H.M good to have you back. I thought you posted Schmid's painting! :o If you can paint like him then there is no need for any critique. If you like his style and identify then follow only him. Don't look at anything else but do all sorts of subject matter.
  • Your flowers are terrific and thanks for sharing, @H.M.  Schmid is my kind of artist. He is obviously influenced by the masters of previous centuries and his work will one day be regarded in the came vein. Maybe yours will too. I love his paintings of old houses and cityscapes. He does better than a fair job on portraits too. You should visit this blog to see a few.
  • This is great @h.m, I love your red-green combinations here.
  • I just love the vitality, movement, and energy of this painting!
  • H.M., beautiful painting.  Your photo is also excellent.  Wonderful job all around hope to see more of your work.

    Of Schmid's available educational tools are their any you felt were more helpful than others - his books, DVD's etc.

    For example, I bought Mark's portrait DVD which is great, but I think the combination of his silver cup DVD and the one on maintaining abstraction are both excellent and would recommend them to anyone wanting to learn Mark's methods.
  • Beautiful painting.  Keep em coming.
  • Thank you all for the kind comments!!

    @Julianna : Thank you very much..everything Richard produces is amazing.He is the bridge between artists like Sargent and the contemporary realists.So there is so much one can learn from him.I am following him on facebook!

    In fact..I had asked ..on one of his posts,if it would be alright if young artists did master copies of his works.His lovely wife,responded by saying absolutely and would love to see my copies.
    She also took the initiative of sending me a friend request..but my messages didnt get sent to her.for some odd reason.
    Such incredible people and so loving.

    @Kaustav : Good to be back! wow thats quite a compliment...I am humbled.hope to keep growing and becoming better.
    such comments make me feel I made the right decision pursuing arts.Thank you
    I do love Richard's works..and I also adore sargent...I hope to reach a mid point between the two styles of realism.
    That's my goal.

    @BOB73 : Thank you very much!
    He is a living master.No doubt..I just hope the future generation does his works and the works of previous masters justice by carrying on the traditions.yes He is quite an amazing portrait painter!
    Thank you again

    @Roxy: Thank you!! Look forward to seeing your work as well.

    @cadia : you have mentioned all the things I was hoping to capture,so thank you so very much.

    @Irishcajun: Thank you for the kind words.And thank you for noticing the Photograph!!
    This is..without a shadow of a doubt the best photograph I have ever taken of one of my paintings(for that matter..anything!)
    I took it under sunlight(nature does provide the most beautiful light).

    I would say..Alla prima is an absolute anyone,doing anything.Alla prima is richards masterpiece.
    Now of course you have Alla prima 2..which I don't own..but its an expanded version of the original..with a few more step by steps as well..maybe @Julianna can tell us more about the book.
    anyhow..the original book is well worth the money.It is brilliant.I sit with it whenever I can..and keep going through individual chapters.Not only is it inspiring..there is a looot of useful information in the form of plain text.
    He had a landscapes and figures book he had come out with earlier..I am not sure how good those are.
    I do want them..thats only because I would like to collect his stuff.(of course..there would be something to be learnt from them)

    as for the DVD'S
    I would say...JUNE is  good..very informative..I love November as well.

    captains portrait gives an insight into his procedure while doing portraits..but he recently came out with a new video..which might be better(definitely better quality).good dvd nonetheless.

    MAY is a good dvd as well..It has plenty of information..but again it is a plein the first two.So..
    the onlly difference being..he completes the painting in his studio..

    White pine was painted completely from a photograph..superb painting..quite informative.

    I wish I had a simple answer...they are all so informative in their own ways..I was lucky enough to see all of them..(except the new release)
    The underlying philosophy is the same,which is covered extensively in his book.
    So you could perhaps use the first two dvd's in conjunction to the book.
    Hope this helps

    Warm regards,

  • @H.M: Thanks for your detailed and through response. I took a look at his website and see what you mean about the the number of resources he has put together. Impressive. Your work and his speak for themselves.

    Congratulations on learning a style you enjoy that brings such beauty and life to the world we encounter but take for granted everyday.

    I am looking forward to seeing more of your paintings.
  • @H.M: I do hope that you shared your painting with Nancy - I bet she would enjoy it.  I think it is outstanding.

    Regarding Mr. Schmid's instructional books and dvds, (although I do feel a bit awkward discussing such matters on Mr. Carder's website) - I have watched "May" more - I love his humour and how he changes his mind about the foreground and dimensions - it was brilliant.  And how he captures those buildings with so few strokes is just awe-inspiring.  Honestly, I would have walked by that scene a million times and never thought about painting it and his painting captures a beauty I never could have imagined.  Although there is not much online for free with him working, I do love this small snippet from "May" 

    I bought the downloaded version of "Richard Schmid Paints Michelle Dunaway" and my goodness is he fantastic and generous with his knowledge.  He seems a bit surprised by how many corrections he had to make but admitted that it was great for the audience to see him work through it.  I found it fascinating.  His love and passion exude while he paints.  

    Regarding Alla Prima II - I have so many pages dog-eared, it is a shame.  Such a beautiful book - I can't seem to finish my color charts.  It is so tedious and I am so impatient, yet I know it is invaluable. The only thing I dislike, is that you have to purchase the follow-up book by Katie Swatland to find out how in hell he finishes/frames his linen.  I do love how he cuts pieces, tapes it to lightweight cardboard or gatorboard - but how does he frame his work?  I read a reference that he glues it to board but I don't know.  I love painting with randomly cut linen pieces and taping it off and changing the size by moving the tape if I wish -  that has freed me up greatly.  I have so many paintings and studies going - I'm learning a ton.  I just don't know how to display the few pieces I am proud of or want to give as gifts so if you have any knowledge regarding mounting or framing the finished painting, I'd love to hear it.  I have purchased stretcher bars and used my staple gun for a couple of dry, finished oil paintings but that's not how Mr. Schmid does it so I'd love to know.

    DMP in the strictest sense is nothing like Richard Schmid's teachings so I do think it is good to stick with one or the other.  However, I am enjoying Mr. Carder's latest videos where he is more free with his artistic license.  Personally, I love oil paintings - not paintings that look like pictures and are so tight and meticulous.  So much of the work here is hyper-realistic - it is awe-inspiring just not what I prefer in oil paintings.  I love Mr. Carder's video of the still-life with the feathers and can't wait to see his wife's video of the coffee cup she did in a few hours. 

    Sorry for being verbose, I enjoy your work and have learned so much from this wonderful website and forum.  I look forward to more of Mr. Carder's videos as I have watched them over and over and over again - talk about being generous with his knowledge!  Thank you Mark_Carder
  • Eloquence from the heart is never verbose.
  • edited June 2017
    @Julianna - Thank you for the Schmid information, and video it was great to see him at work.  I see the differences between his process and the strict process Mark teaches in his initial videos. I also see some similarity in his methods to what Mark is demonstrating in his "maintaining abstraction demo."

    I agree with @BOB73 you are not at all verbose.  Your enthusiasm for both styles is contagious. Thanks again.
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