Leaf of the Crepe Myrtle (Photo-Realism)

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Learn how to create a subtle, realistic sky as you capture the glow of a sunset hitting the leaves of the Crepe Myrtle. This is a great lesson for the detail-oriented painter...!

About this session

For me, the most challenging part of this painting was... the sky!

Leaf of the Crepe Myrtle - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
My source image, a photo taken in Mum's garden at Gulgong against the afternoon sky. The sky looks smooth and deep.

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
On the first attempt I painted a flat blue skey (recreated here with an image editor). The effect was quite boring - EVEN though it does look quite good on a computer screen / your phone. We have to remember that a screen creates light, a painting reflects light.

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Next I painting it wirh a textured, painterly sky with lots of energy in the brushtrokes. This method works well for most paintings... but not so much for this one! (I decided after looking at it... for about a year!)

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.

Note that up until now I had faithfully followed the composition of the shadows - particularly on the leftmost leaf. You will see I deleted that, because it drew attention away from the focal point.

Finally, about a year later I painted with two subtly different blues, no hard edges and no visible brushstrokes. Also I left the sky unglazed. In my opinion this worked much better as a painted sky against the detailed subject matter. The two blues?

  • Cerulean Blue + White
  • Cerulean Blue + White + Ultramarine Blue (to give the purplish tinge)

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis. Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Cerulean Blue + White || Cerulean Blue + White + Ultramarine Blue

Note that this is one of the very FEW occasions when we DO mix the colours to a mono-chromatic state.

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Here is is framed in the Inglis Baroque Frame.

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Detail.

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Detail.

Crepe Myrtle Flower - image ©2018 Peter Inglis.
Detail.

Click here to read about the companion painting: Glowing flower of the Crepe Myrtle.

Crepe Myrtle Flower -  image ©2018 Peter Inglis.

Resources

What will we learn in this session?

This is a great lesson in form, texture and lighting.

  • Impasto
  • Painting from a Photograph
  • Photo-realism
  • Blue

Paint this!