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"Summer Vase": pastel 14x10 inches

, 15:29

..... Here's one more before the English Bank Holiday break. Again continuing with the hatched-lines underpainting using pastel-pencils. This one perhaps not quite so successful in respect of the underpainting, since the overall tone of the picture is somewhat darker than "Pewter Mug". That latter was done on white Pastelmat card and I did the same with Summer Vase.

As it happens, the tooth on white pastelmat card is not as sharp as on other colour card. It is quite tricky to layer soft pastel on it and in Summer Vase I needed more pastel to intensify the yellow colours of the flowers. The picture was begun with hatched lines of pastel-pencil to create the main areas of light and dark; the vase was outlined in, the flowers drawn and the light coming from the window hatched in pale yellow and pinks. From there I glazed softer pastels over, to make the pinky-purple flowerheads and the grey-blue backdrop. The "core" of green foliage was scumbled in with several green mixes and softened by an occasional light finger-rub or hatching over lightly with a harder grey-blue pastel. The yellow flowers needed a more intense input of soft pastel, using yellows from both Unison and Daler-Rowney ranges. The brown markings were made with a deep reddish-brown from Unison.

On the right, a rather nice creamy-yellow Unison provided the sunlight, glazed over the hatched pastel-pencil lines. The vase had some subtle reflections in its pottery surface and would have been a nice subject for oils; in this instance I made the various coloured patches with hatching, followed by glaze-over with soft pastels. The dark reflection was rather too much like a dark hole, so it was glazed lightly with a purple-grey and grey-blue to break up the shape a little.

NB the line you can see going across the lower half of the picture is not really there; I had to scan the painting in two halves and join the images together, which often leaves a faint joining-mark.

I am finding that this hatching technique shows through the softer pastel and breaks the top colour up, giving an impressionist mix of many colours, rather than a solid slab of one single shade. I'll be carrying on exploring the method and seeking suitable subjects.

For the next couple of weeks I may not have time to do much painting or drawing at all, since it is a major holiday period here and other requirements come into play. But if I do have something completed, I'll post it up.

Pewter Mug and Daisies: 12x9 inches approx

, 18:20

Trying to get back to pastelling after several weeks "downtime". This piece was started last month but put aside due to other interruptions. The pewter mug was set up again and this time I completed the reflections and got the daisies in within a couple of hours. The technique is a somewhat scribbly-hatchy one, adopted from Bill Creevy's pastel-painting book. I used it to create the background in pale green, yellow and purple-grey pencils before overlaying with lighter tones of cream and yellow. Similarly with the mug reflections. Silvery-coloured objects can be difficult to select pastels for, but if it is possible to discern subtle shades of colour (such as greens, blue-greys or ochres) then these can be used to build the patchwork of reflections.

The daisies were, I'll admit, a little rushed. They were already rather tatty so I had to spruce them up a bit. I repeated some of the hatching technique to provide a backdrop for their greyish-white petals.

Six paintings off to exhibition at Backwell, Bristol, tomorrow; for Friday and Saturday openings.

Casual Gold: pastel 9x9 inches approx

, 17:56


After a brief break sorting out framing requirements for this year's exhibition pieces, here is another completed pastel. The work was originally started with Conte pastel pencils on burgundy-coloured PastelMat. I sat with the jar of casually-arranged dandelions for a couple of hours, drawing them in and laying down some general colouring. Conte pastel pencils are much firmer than standard soft pastel sticks; this was an attempt to try drawing the subject in general terms before going in with soft pastels afterwards.
The work was done out of doors in very hot sunshine (too hot, in fact for me)....having acquired the drawing and general colouring, I was forced indoors. The following day was sunless....the next a little brighter, but the dandelions had of course completely changed their gestures in the jar. I used soft Unison pastels to complete the piece, which included inventing the tablecloth and adding a little background greenery from a nearby bush.
This one now awaits framing, ready for a local summer show.

Lime Marmalade: oils 8x8 inches

, 09:38



After the rush of paintings earlier in the year, I have been unable to settle to finish anything much. However this one is now done. Oils are especially useful to portray juicy glistening materials such as jellies and marmalades. The colour scheme for this picture was kept primarily in the pale yellows/acid greens sector, balanced by mauve shading, mixed from cobalt blue and alizarin crimson. With local exhibitions due in July, I really need to get a move on....so far this year I have very few pastel works finished and those that are complete seem to feel like little more than exercises.

Zinnia in Jar; Oils 6x6 inches

, 14:14


A quick one on this occasion; small still life with zinnia set up and painted over a couple of days instead of my usual couple of hours, due to other home activities. It would have been nice to have more time to spend adjusting the really fluorescent red colouring of this flower, but unfortunately not to be. I completed it in a more simple graphic style and decided to let it rest there. http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/zinnia-in-jar/618826

Sunlit Daisies: pastel 11x9 inches approx.

, 17:41

Often, just as I get on a "roll" with producing pictures, something comes along and puts a spanner in the works to slow me up. I've had to stop all my oil-painting for a while, since my workroom is currently being commandeered for other purposes. It shouldn't be for much longer but I'm a bit annoyed because my rhythm has been broken. Anyway....back to the pastels, and this little daisies-in-a-mug study was produced in around two and a half hours, over two days.

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/sunlit-daisies/586939 $75

"Rudbeckias"; pastel on pastelmat card 6x6 inches

, 11:19

This is the final square of yellow pastelmat card that I've been using up over the past six weeks or so. That's not to say I won't be doing any more small ones, but just for the time being I am moving my concentration onto some other pastel projects. It is listed here at auction at DailyPaintWorks.com

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/616583

I enjoy using pastelmat card, it is extremely good for close detailed work, especially when you think that pastel is not an ideal medium for fiddly little details. The card surface tends to create a dense and dusty colour when pastel is applied, the colour is vivid and the strokes go on very smoothly. However, I feel a need to go and explore some other surfaces. I am re-ordering myself some Art Spectrum Colorfix sheets and also considering some rougher home-made surfaces like pastel-primer on mountboard. It is easy to stay in the same comfort-zone but after a while the paintings begin to all look very similar.

I found using watercolour on white pastelMat card very useful for starting sky paintings. Art Spectrum paper is geared for multimedia use and also has a different tooth. I have a pot of AS clear pastel primer and have often used it to prime old failed watercolour sheets and boards. When used thickly, the texture created is considerable. Pastel paintings don't tend to have much "body" to them because they are, literally, made of dust; and thus may require some kind of underpainting or preparation to give a bit of extra dimension. We'll see how it goes.

Sun and Shadows: pastel 6x6 inches

, 12:32

Last week was a wipe-out, due to virus, so very little done. This pastel however was completed before then, and I have now photographed it for this blog and DailypaintWorks.

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/613535

I have a number of ideas for more of these, but am also trying to get one or two larger ones completed for a local group exhibition in December. Plus, chasing down framing. Framing would be easy if it wasn't for (a) glass and (b) the fact that quite a few of my pieces are square and therefore classed as "not standard". Then, I'm not a standard person, so that's rather appropriate.

At the same time, I am slowly teaching myself lino cutting and printing. Now, why would I want to do that? haven't I got enough to do? (yes; but it won't stop me). The thing with lino prints is often the simplicity of colour-scheme. One, two or even just three-colour linoprints can catch the attention of the viewer. Brash multicolours not necessary. Lino prints also encourage simplifying a subject; after all, it has to be carved out of the lino and, having spent three hours yesterday carving out a 12 x 8 inch panel I can say that I welcome the simplification. (Mind you, the experts produce some extraordinarily detailed works on lino; cutting time must be hours and hours). There are some subjects I wouldn't consider for a pastel painting, but would attempt them on lino because of the tendency toward more graphic presentation. The opportunity to consider other subjects for a different medium, in a different way, is therefore a nice mental change from the pastel work. You're unlikely to see any of my lino stuff for quite a while, though!

Little Posy: pastel 6x6 inches.

, 15:50

Quickish pastel this week, a little group of salvaged asters and tagetes placed in a miniature pot. On pastelmat card, 6x6 inches.

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/610793

Heavenly Dahlias: pastel, 6x6 inches

, 12:37

I came across this very old church building in Devon, England with faded pink-painted walls and right next to a colourful display of summer dahlias. The scene stuck in my mind for a long time afterwards. I recall it here to the best of my ability, in pastel, with vivid orange and deep purple-red flower-heads.

https://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/608859

Nasturtiums: pastel 6x6 inches/

, 14:06


Another small pastel completed during yesterday and this morning:

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/606819

Little Faces: pastel 6x6 inches

, 14:59

Continuing with another 6-inch square format, and back with flowers again....one of my favourite colour combinations is mauve and yellow; and these pansies have plenty of both. It is quite mentally demanding working with chunky pastels on a small square area like this, and it is a time when my spare box of pastel fragments comes in handy, for smaller details. This picture was worked on pale grey PastelMat, covered with a light wash of green watercolour before starting.

http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/606132

Moody Poly: oil on board 6x6 inches

, 07:47

Quick post today; here's a small impressionistic floral, just dried enough to scan.... this polyanthus was brought indoors to paint, during a recent bout of hay-fever when I just couldn't sit out. A quickish painting, to try and capture the deep reds that these flowers have, along with the sharply contrasting dots of yellow. On DailyPaintWorks as an auction, from Saturday 21st, at: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/552736 Start bid $28.

Spring Blues; pastel 14x11 inches

, 15:30

Having had ten days unable to do any painting, I started back with a rather more experimental piece. This pastel is on Canson "Touch" pastel-card, and a number of things happened to it en route to completion.

On DailyPaintWorks now: $65. http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/spring-blues/470613

These primroses or polyanthus were a deep blue-purple with white edges on the petals. The initial drawing wasn't satisfactory, due to the fact that a number of the flowers were tightly squashed together and not displaying their yellow centres; so I decided to do them from a "bird's-eye" view.

Eventually the whole group began to form on the paper. I wanted the flowers to stand out from their background.

This was a bit tricky, since the petals were a dark shade and I didn't want to do an all-black background. Pastel grains also tend to stand forward, so in the end I washed over the orangey-brown background pastel with an alcohol wash, which flattened it.

The pastel-card took the alcohol wash very well, so I will remember this for another occasion.

"Spring Trumpets"; oil, 6x8 inches

, 13:59

Another week spent away from the oils, unfortunately, but I hope to be back on them after Monday. In fact, the change of routine took me back to exploring the acrylics box....no small works being done with those, however...and I have been having a few play-hours on some larger canvas. "Spring Trumpets" was considered dry enough to handle today and it has been scanned (not photographed, the light level is poor here today and I prefer to take my photos in daylight).

Oil on canvasboard. The image is at DailyPaintWorks.com, at: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/christine-derrick/spring-trumpets/451867

"Clematis" : pastel 10x11 inches

, 11:20

While the garden sleeps (well, mine is), the major portion of colourful flowers are found only in the shops. I do have primroses, though, so maybe I'll tackle them again in the coming days. Otherwise it's hands in the purse for a few purchases.

"Clematis" was worked from several photos that I took last year. I was particularly interested in the candle-flame appearance of the closed flowers. I reduced the leaves to little more than green shapes because there would be just too much going on in the picture. A background of magenta and a few reds were laid on the grey Pastelmat paper with hard pastels, to complement the later addition of a dark green background. I didn't put the darks in too heavily, though. The end result is a background of interwoven colours, against the bright lights of the flowers. My harder pastels are mainly Rembrandt and some Winsor and Newton (the latter are no longer produced but can still be found on Ebay and similar sites). Unison's range of soft Dark Jewels are almost indispensable for deep greens and purples.

This painting will go on DailyPaintWorks as from 1st February, for 7 days: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/500975

Roses

, 17:26

As said earlier, I will be doing my last parcels/packages prior to Christmas very soon; in my last post I said 14th December, I'll extend this to 18th December and no later, for the UK. All other destinations will be early Jan 2016. In the meantime, I've added "Roses on the Wall" to my gallery at Original-Art-Under100.com The price will include the mount and framing.

Roses on the Wall : pastel 10x8 inches £75 inclusive of framing. Link: http://www.original-art-under100.com/artist/chrisd

Mixed Asters; DailyPaintWorks auction

, 13:07

"Mixed Asters" is a 6x6 inch oil painting on canvasboard, due to start at auction at DailyPaintWorks tomorrow for 7 days. The auction link is below: www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/473761

Item also at Original-Art-Under100.com See the Links panel on the right.