Anemones: pastel 19×13″

Anemones: pastel 19×13 inches approx.

While my oil paintings are drying at various stages of completion, I return to pastels and divert my energy into making whatever improvements I can in using that medium. This anemone picture was worked over several two-hour sessions and is possibly one of the biggest I’ve ever attempted.

It was not initially intended to be a large painting, but things happen that way sometimes. I wanted to make a group of flowers surrounded by their fern-like leaves; as is often the case, conveniently arranged groups simply don’t grow to suit one’s requirements. I chose three that had tilted their blooms at attractive angles, then selected two more from another garden-pot. They were painted in situ, not picked and placed in a vase.

Here they are viewed from above, which seemed to be the best position for describing their shape and colour. Some stems were visible and these were included. The broadness of pastel-sticks doesn’t allow for a lot of fussy detail although I was able to add enough for the centres. The surface is Sennelier pastel-card, one I don’t often use but it makes a change from the smoother Pastel-Mat.

The varied shades of red on the flowers in sunlight and shadow proved to be a particular battle; in sunlight, the colour took on a pinkish hue and despite having a decent range of reds/pinks in pastels, I was hard pressed to make a choice. Once the flowers were done, I added in the foliage relatively quickly with some blue-greens, yellow-greens and touches of red-violet. They have all gone now until next year and I never seem to have that many; next gardening-year I must plan for more.

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