Blue Jar with Flowers

I’ve held off posting this one because it had been lined up for an exhibition and I still don’t know whether it has “got in” or not. However, with pouring rain preventing me from taking photos of newer work, I’ve decided to put it up.

The approach to this picture was based almost all on hatched lines. It was begun with a general line drawing in hard pastels, to position the flowers and jar, and also to get the perspective of the window-ledge, wall and window-frame. I was looking towards the corner and wanted light to be seen coming in through the glass and onto the arrangement.

I used conte carre sticks for a while but then changed over to Rembrandt pastels, laying down medium-dark hatched lines for the wall; greeny-ochre lines for the window-pane; and a mix of blue-greys for the ledge. My jar was a lovely blue-green glass which provided opportunity to use several deep shades. All these lines were stroked on very gently, to avoid filling the paper tooth; each overlaid to create a slight shimmer. The PastelMat used here was a medium grey; the colour is visible through the pastel as if seen through a fine mesh. Once completed, the picture had a muted, slightly dark quality to it, as is caused by using harder pastels; and it was tempting to leave it as such.

But I didn’t. From this point, softer Unison pastels were glazed over, using colours to gently bring up the light levels; for example a pale cream on the window-pane and on the ledge; and a pinkish-grey on the wall. The flowers were marked in more directly, with strong colouring for the yellow Hypericum (Rose of Sharon) and bluish tones for daisies. The jar’s translucency was retained with pale and darker bluish-greens laid lightly over the earlier hatching. The leaves inside were made with differing shades of yellow-green. Finally the wild flower stems were added directly with a harder pastel.

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