Golden Rod and Lilies; pastel 16×14″

I have been busy juggling images for both the Redbubble and FAA sites, as well as trying to get new paintings finished. A new pastel is now complete; and a watercolour. The watercolour was going to be for this post, but it is asking for a little more time, and is rapidly turning into a coloured pencil piece.

The pastel is on grey pastelmat card and was begun with a light sketch in pastel-pencil and conte carre sticks. The flowers were bright in colour but subdued by the white washed walls behind them; this was the porch of an old church. I used a network of lightly hatched and scribbled lines to lay in an “underpainting” for these walls; later scumbling over them with softer Unison pastels to create variation in colouring. The pitcher and flowers were created through lightly-placed lines and strengthened intuitively as the work progressed. Sprays of Golden Rod flowers were added using dull yellow-ochre and brighter yellows; the flowers were fiddly, with a need to create their bell-shapes and out-turned petals, again these being drawn initially in pastel-pencil.

I am in two minds as to whether or not to release the original pastel painting for sale. It is probably an exhibition piece and I need these for later in the year (assuming that the deliberately manufactured fear-mongering coronavirus hasn’t shut down all shows and events).

Updating here weekly might drop to two posts per month, since I am spending more time on selecting my subjects, as opposed to just grabbing something for “something to do”. I have had a little difficulty in scanning coloured pencil drawings…the recent chrysanthemum work appears rather fragile and hazy…in reality it is not. The type of paper seems to play a part…the paper I used was Saunders hot-pressed watercolour but it felt rather soft to work on. I am continuing to try others, such as Daler 235 gsm drawing paper and ordinary cartridge; I have some Stonehenge to test too.

As yet I haven’t found my feet with coloured pencil but it is a case of simply practising. There is nothing to dry (same as pastel) and is well suited to small subjects where pastels are too large and awkward to use.

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