OK, I bought some silk flowers, and I took some pictures of them to play with. (Hey, when I'm better, I'll use the fresh ones, but for now, the silk is fine.) I did a rose painting. They're hard! I think the method is to paint the base color, then go in with highlights and shadows. (Hmm, that sounds like most things.) Here's how it came out (the original is 3x4:):
It lacks something. It lacks the freshness of a real rose. Now, if it helps, you can see the picture that I painted from. Note that it's amber in color, not red or pink, like you expect roses to be:
But as I look at it, it still has more of that mystery that you expect from a rose. There's a glow, a subtle shift in value where the shadows are that I didn't capture.
This is on gessoed cardboard, and it was still nice to paint without caring. It's like the saying, "Dance like no one is watching." (The longer version is, "Work like you don't need to money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.") Or maybe I should quote the Cowardly Lion: "Courage!"
I bought some primed canvas today. I think I'll try attaching it to a surface and painting on that. Don't know what will happen. In one of my books, the author suggests painting on unstretched canvas, so you can crop it as you want when you're done. Watercolorists get to do this but not usually oil painters. It seems kind of spontaneous. Wahoo!
PS: And, of course, while buying the canvas I also overspent on a half dozen other things. Arghhh! How do you get out of an art store without doing that?!