Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunflower Fire

Sunflower Fire30x40cm soft pastel on sanded card.

 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.

Visit my zazzle store to see products with this image
'Sunflower Fire' Poster print
'Sunflower Fire' Poster by Marionsart
Browse all the art at Zazzle

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