This was an interesting piece to paint and represents approximately forty-five minutes of painting time.
The bouquet of flowers was set up as a back lit still life (about five feet from a window and natural light) and placed about thirty to thirty-five feet from the easel. Looking at the subject from the easel was not unlike looking at a plein air subject while squinting. In this case, the masses became more important and the details of the still life tended to disappear or fade to less importance at this distance. The back lighting softened the edges of the smaller masses more so than the larger masses.
At the same time, the values of the colours became less pronounced to the eye. At best, it meant that I could represent the masses in three values, dark, middle and the lightest value when I start the painting.
The support in this piece was a gessoed panel with a final coat of a value five warm grey. My colours were my regular limited palette without any 'favourite' colours added.
Now, to paint the masses in proportion to each other and the simplified colour values seemed to make the painting of the composition much less confusing as apposed to being close to the still life and to be bogged down with the details. The lay in went much faster than usual and seemed to maintain an abstract quality that I really liked. I left the painting at the stage you see it above. In retrospect, I could have added details or values to define the masses further. For instance, a small shadow under the lip of the vase, or a cast shadow on the face of the vase from the mass of leaves would have added further definition or finish.
All in all, I thought that this was a worthy and valuable painting exercise.