Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Cherry Blossom Study

Cherry Blossom Study

6x8in  oil on canvas board   100.

One of the members of the Guild, Sue Nichols, brought in these
beautiful cherry blossoms. They are from her fruit orchard at the
Nichols Ranch. Cherry season is just around the corner!

She included apple blossoms too, but they are still in tight buds.
She assures me they are even more beautiful than these with pink flowers.
Maybe in a couple of days I can paint them.

Artist Note.

This is the way I paint clustered small flowers to prevent "cookie cutter" edges.
Grapes are painted the same way.

Basic wash of color
 Second step.

Lift out the shapes of flowers
with cloth wrapped around finger
or use a damp brush..
 Third step.

Paint the flowers in two values.
As these are white flowers
place the middle value
(which is as dark as you want to go)
for areas in shade first and then
add the light touches

Fourth step.

Refine and add the small darks.

Your own personal direction comes
in to play here.
If you enjoy fine detail you will find
the basics are already done to work into .
If you are more impressionistic
then the idea is to create the
impression of a cluster by only detailing a few.

I work the background into the outside edges of the cluster creating petal shapes..

Asking a personal favor.

If you enjoy my Artist Notes, but do not like to comment on the blog,  I would appreciate
you emailing me at

and let me know if you think they are worthwhile...or NOT!
They take added time, which I do enjoy, in the hope they help someone, somewhere, who does not have access to instruction.
Also, if you can offer suggestions to improve what I do, it would be appreciated .

Thank you.


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  1. Julie, I love reading ALL of your notes and stories. I think it is so wonderful that you share your techniques online. I have been painting a long time and I am learning from you. I feel we can always learn something from one another. Thank you for sharing...

  2. Dear Julie , your artists notes are HIGHLY appreciated by me, I treasure them as gold, and this little trick you showed here is another gem, I will keep in mind , thank you so much for taking your time! And last but not least...your cherry blossom is fabulous, so full of life, I just so admire your work! Have a nice weekend my friend!

  3. I really enjoyed your "WIP" showing us step by step's always so interesting to me how the artist gets to that point...I have always learned from this process...thank you for sharing. The Cherry blossom study is beautiful.

  4. Julie, YES! Folks are reading and learning from your blog. I am a rookie painter who has learned so much from your sharing, but I have never commented. I'm sure there are others like me. You were recommended to me by a friend, and I've been following you for a few months. Thanks, thanks, thanks. I love your painting style.

  5. Thanks for the WIP, yes I find them helpful! I'm still learning this whole "oil thing," and this one in particular reminded me to stop getting caught up in details too quickly. :-p I haven't tried the wipe-out method, maybe I'll give it a whirl after seeing your wonderful results here.

  6. This is a boost to my fragile ego after receiving an anonymous comment from someone who was quite strong in their opinion that my Artist Notes were, "no good and gave bad advice." I did wonder why they even read it, but then my doubts started to rear their ugly head!

    You can understand why I thank you all very much.
    I usually answer my comments by personal email but thought I would let you know I appreciate you all very much.
    I am also receiving quite a few emails from subscribers who do not know how or like to officially comment on the blog.
    All warm fuzzies.

  7. Some people must get a sense of power from leaving unkind comments on other peoples' blogs. I notice you said it was "anonymous". How brave it that!

    I loved this painting and seeing the process you used to achieve it.

  8. I am sorry that happened to you Julie. Don't you wish mean people would just go away? I think that all the teaching you give is well worth the time. And also I think that even later many may stumble onto your post. I have read many past posts before with helpful tips and did not comment because the post was old. I am never sure the blogger will see it. Thank you for putting in the time to teach what you know.

  9. Your posts are so interesting and informative Julie, and you give so much more than most!! There is the initial joy of looking at the first image, and then all the added value of reading about your process and seeing step by step photos. Personally I much prefer to have an insight into the way the artist is thinking rather than just 'here's my painting'. There is one possible explanation for your 'anonymous' comment and that is envy! Perhaps someone who doesn't fit as much painting time in their life as they would like to and are aggrieved that you achieve so much with exactly the same twenty four hours a day that they have!

  10. Yes the artist's notes help. I did not have access to a lot of classes in the area where I live and I took classes when I could. I like to try different approaches that is how you learn and grow. I appreciate the instruction.

  11. I just want to say how much I enjoy your teaching techniques! I know it must take added time to add the extra photos at various stages, but you are truly helping others do art! Thanks again!


I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at