Rustic Gold: pastel 13×16″

Pastel work has been slow this year. I like to try and find some floral themes, but have been unable for some reason to settle on anything. Earlier this year (January) I completed “Catching the Light”, and have done very little since then, bar “Pink Orchids” (March) which was worked directly from a plant that I have, using mainly pastel-pencils.

Now I’ve returned to a window-cill setting for “Rustic Gold”. These doronicum daisies (leopard’s bane) were quickly arranged in an unglazed jug, with a few sprays of geranium flowers (crane’s-bill, the pink variety). It was set in the light from the window and the work was started on a beige sheet of PastelMat card by making a loose sketch of the arrangement in burnt sienna watercolour.

Yellow daisies can be hard work because the slightest bit of dirt on a yellow pastel can destroy the purity of colour. These particular ones are a very bright golden yellow…despite having a fair variety of pastels I couldn’t find one that matched exactly. The lightest petal-tips are in fact heading towards a lemon yellow.

Having finally pegged down the general floral arrangement, the direction of light was decided with pale greens indicating sunlight coming through the glass, off the garden beyond. Now that the picture has been photographed and reduced in size for the library on here, I feel that the left edge of the jug is too sharp…a bit of softening is required, that I’ll get onto doing shortly.

On the oil-painting front I am trying to school myself into painting more quickly. Over the years I have spent far too long on individual paintings, even small ones; and as life goes on, my available free time varies considerably in terms of hours per week. Since I am self-taught, I have reached the point where I need to overcome this problem and am now following some online tuition. Breaking the habits of several decades will not be easy but it has to start somewhere….they say think less and paint more…I do too much thinking.

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