Hibiscus oil painting on two panels by Rita RomeroThe hibiscus oil painting is finished. I refer to it in a singular way because, although it is on two separate panels (diptych) it is one image. This diptych format was a welcomed challenge, which I hope to do again soon.

As you can tell from the photos on my previous posts, I made several changes to the flowers and added features. Being a perfectionist, I worked at making the composition more interesting, and more three dimensional. In executing this painting, I used all of my knowledge regarding light and painting techniques, as well as learning more about using values and color temperature to create forms in space.

One of the things I tried to accomplish was to make this painting look realistic, yet remain painterly. I was not trying to get a photographic image. One of the worst “compliments” a painter can get – no matter how well intentioned – is “it looks just like a photograph”. A photograph tends to be flat and lifeless, albeit realistic. When painting in a realistic style, an artist tries to bring the image to life with skilled use of values and techniques that go beyond a photographic image. Some of the greatest paintings in history are realistic, but do not look like a photograph. Even Impressionist paintings are considered realistic, yet they are definitely not photographic.

A successful painting creates interest that draws the viewer in; as well as provide elements that a viewer can discover anew each time they look at the image. If you have ever stared at a painting and marveled at how the artist created the image, then you know what I mean about a successful painting. That is what I tried to accomplish with this large scale flower diptych. Ultimately, however, it is up to the viewer to decide if I have succeeded.