Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pastel Painting Demonstration of a Foxglove

"Foxglove", Pastel on board, 5x7
Available through Etsy

I'm pretty happy with this one!  It came together more easily for me than usual.  I took a couple of pictures of it as a work in progress:

First I did a sketch on green Ampersand Pastelbord.  I really like this surface because it can take as many layers of pastel as you could ever need, and it is very tough.  I have had times where a painting wasn't going well, and I just took it to the sink, rinsed it off, let it dry, and started over!  I work different ways, depending on the painting, but this time I wanted to focus on the detail of the flowers first, as I intended to keep the background abstract.  First I put in a light layer of dark blue where appropriate, to remind me of where the darkest shadows would be.  Then I started working on the flowers and stem, moving from top to bottom.  I was trying to get a good amount of detail, while still looking "painterly".  

I was having a hard time getting the color that I wanted, and I found that starting with a very bright pink background, and then layering on cream, with touches of peach, green, blue and yellow worked for me.  Sometimes you get better colors with layering, than if you just pick the right color out of your box!  The green background was fun to work on as it really made the flowers jump out as I went along.

I paid special attention to where the sun was hitting the flowers, and tried to give a bit more emphasis to the ones in the lower center and left, as they were my focal point.  Here is a closeup:

When I had finished the flowers, I decided that they needed to be warmed up a bit, and went over them here and there with yellow and peach, and just a bit more of that bright pink.  Putting in the background was fun, and the only things to pay attention to were keeping a good balance of the colors that I was using, and keeping the dust from the dark colors off of my pale flowers!  A few touch ups and I was done!