Painting Demo – The Rose


White Rose with Bud ©2009 Jacobson.
White Rose with Bud ©2009 Jacobson.




Today I am working in my ultimate digital art studio

This is an oil painting demo using the Wacom® Cintique touch/pressure sensitive monitor and Corel® Painter 11.

Painter 11 digital painting software is the most advanced painting and natural media tool available today.  

I use no formula when painting, and I honestly think that I never use the same process twice.

For me, this is an event, a challenge and an exploration.

Join me in the journey



 Step 1

This rose photograph (one of hudreds that I took at Huntington Gardens)

is my inspiration piece for an oil painting in a square format.



Inspiration Reference Photo
Inspiration Reference Photo




Step 2

I’ve painted the canvas a solid green color.

Plain white is way too scary because I would never want to get it dirty. (OK that’s a joke)



Solid Green Background
Solid Green Background


Step 3

Now I explore the shape and movement of the rose with a gestural drawing.

This is how I become familiar with my model. I am not trying to duplicate the reference piece.

I do this warmup step with every new piece. The canvas is marked and I’m no longer intimitated.

It can only get better after this stage. (I hope!)


Block in drawing
Block in drawing



Step 4

This is my mess around with paint stage. I begin with oil paints, and apply them very thinly.

I move around the piece very fast, never staying in the same spot for long

and use a variety of brush sizes, strokes, and colors.

This is not a planned process and I guess you would say that my moves and choices

are strictly by intuition.

I love this block-in part of the process. It is absolutely freeing.

 Here you see the start, closeup and finish of the block-in stage.  


Beginning oil paint block in
Beginning oil paint block in



Block-in detail
Block-in detail


Block-in complete
Block-in complete


Step 5 

OK, I now have a mess on my hands and it’s just where I want it. 

I begin to use heavier paint, and look to add some details to the shapes within the flower.

I use my inspiration piece for reference of those shapes. 


This closeup shows the lack of details at this stage.


Beginning of details
Beginning of details


Step 6 

It’s time to use opaque paints and to really describe the edge of each element in the piece. 

The flower starts to take form, because it’s these edge details that describe the forms, and makes the flower come alive.

Closeup shows the smooth and defined shape of each petal.

Edge details - thick paint
Edge details – thick paint


Step 7

 I work into the background with color, textures and details,

and once again refine edges in order to make the flower come forward.



Details and textures in background
Details and textures in background


Detail Background & Edges
Detail Background & Edges


Step 8


It’s complete.

I sign it and actually compare my finished piece with my original inspiration piece.

If I’m satisfied, it lives.

If I’m not satisfied, it’s destined for the dumpster.

The joy is in the doing, so if it’s what I want, I’m happy. 

If it’s not… then I’ve definitely learned something for the next piece.



Completed Painting - White Rose with Bud
Completed Painting – White Rose with Bud


Comparison - Painting to Inspiration
Comparison – Painting to Inspiration


I’d love to hear from you.

Tell me what you think about today’s demo,

and what questions you’d like answered.

Let’s do this together.

Thanks for taking your time to watch me have fun.