Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bird of Paradise



I have been able to finally spend some more time on my art. I still have a commission I am desperately trying to finish for my incredibly patient client. As you all know, I also work several pieces at one time so that when I run into a kink with one, I can move onto another until I figure out what to do about the problem.

Here is a small piece I whipped out in just three hours. It is not colored pencil however - it's in soft pastels. The size is a mere 6" x 11.5".

If you remember my last piece, "Morning Devotions", was done on the new Mattson sanded pastel paper and I had a terrible time getting the details I wanted with my pencils. I also deemed it not appropriate for colored pencils unless you want a more painterly effect, in which case it's fine. So, I decided to try out my new Rembrandt soft pastels on the paper and see what happens. I chose the terracotta colored paper (Mattson pastel paper comes in four colors) for its rich color.

I started by using my new Richeson semi-hard pastel sticks to draw and block in the colors. These are brand new pastels Richeson came out with and I grabbed up one of the first sample sets. The main difference between these and Nu-Pastels are that Richeson's are lightfast whereas the Nu-Pastels are not. Very important difference. I love the feel of the Richeson's. They are just soft enough to lay down the color comfortably, but hard enough to get nice solid lines. I highly recommend these new pastels! They come in 120 colors. I've shown below a sample of a 12-piece set.



After getting the color blocked in I pulled out my Rembrandts and began in earnest applying the local colors. The Rembrandts have an absolutely delicious range of colors and were perfect for this flower. I added deeper values and highlights using Rembrandts, Richeson, and Mungyos. At the end, I added the highlights.

I think I probably could have sharpened the edges on the yellow petals a bit more, but otherwise, I'm fairly satisfied with this piece and am calling it done.

BTW, there is another 1.5" of background to the right of the flower in real life. My photo of the painting cut it off unfortunately.

Sorry, no close-ups. I still do not have my new graphics software yet, so I am having problems with editing my photos.

Hope you all like it! Comments and crits are always appreciated.

2 comments:

Carolina said...

Hi Nancy!
This piece is lovely. I am a fan of plants/flowers paintings, and this one is great. Can't believe you finished it so quickly. I wanted to ask you how did you do to finish with the highlights? My guess is with the pastels and not with CP's, is that right?
Regards from Peruvian lands...

Reflections From Life Art Blog said...

Thank you Carolina! Yes, this whole piece is in pastels. I'm hoping to do more in pastels, but I will never stop painting with my cherished colored pencils!

Nancy