I would like to share one of my latest pastel paintings inspired by the kinds of summer flowers we enjoy here at our farm in Indiana. I am including process photos.
As I get ready for winter to set in (it is early December and boy, don’t I feel blessed to have had such nice weather up till now), I can look over at my wall where this painting is hanging and fondly remember balmier times!
As a side, I am also trying out a new (for me) blog editor: BlogPad Pro. It is free at the App Store, and I have to say, so far it has been a joy to use!!
Now onto the post!
So the first thing I did was to loosely sketch my composition. Nothing too detailed, just the main placement of the larger flowers.
My next step was to do a loose watercolor underpainting. The Uart paper handles watercolor washes very well. No buckling or coming untaped from the support. You can see I used lots of violet to complement all the green I knew I would be applying later.
Choosing Palette & Blocking In Background
Below are the pastels I believed would be useful in this painting, though I added more as the painting went on!
To the right is my reference inspiration. You can see I was not being literal with the photo.
Blocking In the Flowers
This step taught me to be grateful for the selection of colors in my “Garden” set of Jack Richeson Hand Rolled soft pastels!
Refining Local Color
Below you can see that the lower daisy has been developed more than the upper one.
Adjusting Flower Shapes & Color
I didn’t like the shapes of the nearest yellow flowers, so I adjusted them to look less regular.
Final Adjustments & Framing!
My final steps were to add some small flicks of yellow-orange to help break up the background.
Then I decided to frame this painting in a rustic barn wood frame, unmatted, using spacers between the glass and pastel.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
Let me know in the comments what you are working on, and I will try to check out your blog.
Welcome Summer! It’s almost upon us, and with the recent heat and humidity I’ve turned to the air-conditioned comfort of my little studio.
This summer finds me wanting to combine my two favorite mediums: pastel and watercolor!
Now I love watercolor, but I am no watercolorist… so where to begin? For help I followed a demonstration by blogger/artist Karen Margulis (kemstudios.blogspot.com) and was able to paint my version of a field of daisies using a watercolor underpainting. And I have to say it was a lot of fun!
Before jumping into the watercolor, I did my homework and created three quick thumbnail sketches to plan out my composition and values. These are very small. Literally, 1 1/2 x 2 inches. The first is an outline helping me place the major shapes. In the middle is my four values map. And finally, my black and white notan to help me see the light and dark mass shapes.
Next came the watercolor! I worked vertically on my easel using Canson Touch sanded paper, an old, oil painting bristle brush (round), and a variety of watercolor paints (artist grade).
I know some say you don’t have to use artist grade paints for an underpainting; however, I planned to allow some of the underpainting to show after the application of pastel, so I wanted the pigments to be lightfast and archival.
Here is the finished watercolor underpainting.
Next I began to apply pastel. First the darks; then the sky.
Now the petal shadows.
Time for some lighter values on the petals and the flower heads. Also some green stems and grasses.
Adding aerial perspective with pale purplish-blue flowers.
Finally, I softened most of the edges of the flowers not in my focal point, and added some life with a few bumblebees. Another first for me!
Definitely brought some life to the finished painting!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed combining the process of loose watercolor painting followed by pastels. I will definitely be trying this again!