This painting is also from another challenge on Wetcanvas.com and thank you to Kay (KreativeK) for providing it.
I know I said that I was no longer painting with soft pastels, but I keep getting drawn back in to using them and the strong colours in the reference shouted soft pastels at me. I discovered some Sennelier fine sanded card in my cupboard which I had purchased way back and actually forgotton I had.
As usual, I started out by blocking in the lights and darks. I used Neocolor II soluble crayons as an underpainting. I've been using these a lot just lately regardless of medium, they have a lot of pigment in and I find that they give a very good underpainting. I usually use water to wash the pigment in, but then remembered the Sennelier surface doesn't like water, so I used alcohol instead. The wash came out darker than I expected it to and was not quite so easy to create as I am used to. Recently I have been using Fischer sanded card and this accepts water and my washes are normally lighter.
Sunflower Fire stage 1 -
I used cool colours for the shadows and lights for the highlights. In my florals I like to use yellow for underpainting my main highlights. I think you can see that the wash was not so successful on this ground and it looks very dark and messy.
Sunflower Fire - stage 2.
Blocking in with local colour - not looking quite so messy now.
Sunflower Fire - stage 3
More colour added - trying to find those subtle shifts of light and darks. Taking shape at this stage.
Sunflower Fire - completed.
I continued layering colours and breaking up the blocks of colour until I was happy. I knocked back the background sunflower as it was competing with the star of the show. The final touches was the speck on the sunflower head, which I achieved by grating some yellow, dark red and orange pastel over it, covering it with a piece of paper and applying pressure to adhere the particles.
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