Some still life studies today

I am continuing to do well with my "3 paintings a day" project. To be honest, it is not always full paintings per se, sometimes they are as simple as color studies and other times they are studies of paintings I admire. Even so, doing three pages of paintings a day is really helping me make progress and be consistent. 

For today's study I setup a little still life at home, and did a few paintings of the still life. It was a good night of painting.

I really enjoyed this like colorful study. There is not a huge amount of value contrast in this painting, but I didn't mind that. The color hue contrast does the job well of separating the shapes and bringing focus. 

I wanted to do a more careful study of the teal tea pot next, so I setup a still life with just the teapot and I added the orange bud for some interest. Again, I wasn't able to achieve much value contrast, and I didn't wait for the wet areas to dry before going back in there ... but still I like the effects that achieved and how the whole composition looks. 

The next painting I did a bit of an experiment. I discovered Debora Stewart this morning via her Abstract Flowers in Pastel video in artistnetwork.tv. I liked how she played with acrylics and soft pastels to make beautiful abstract florals, and wanted to see how pastels worked with watercolor. This painting looks a little dead in the water, but still I am glad that I tried out this rather crazy experiment. 

Goodnight and see you next time. Meanwhile, happy painting!

May 4 : Onions in pastels

I looked for some still life reference photos on Paint My Photo, and I quite liked this one of the onions. This time around I took a couple of step by step pictures. The whole thing took me around 1.5 hr. I am still not sure how to make some good shadows without using black :-/

I blocked in some basic shapes with NuPastels.

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Then I switched to Rembrandt pastels for further blocking in. I like to work on the whole picture at once, so here is the next stage of the drawing about an hour in.

 

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I spent the next half hour clarifying the edges, deepening the shadows and adding a bit of color to the background.

 

Onions in pastels

Onions in pastels

I am not unhappy with this but I really would like to not use black! I need to figure this out.

May 2 : Pastel drawing

Yesterday's success encouraged me to try a whole month of pastel drawings. My day job has nothing to do with art but I am trying to make time for some serious art practice everyday. 

Here is today's attempt.  I am not happy with it, but I shouldn't expect this to be so easy. I take comfort in the fact that it looks like something and the important thing is that I put in the time.

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Limes and Lemons in Pastels

I took a little more time with it this morning and tackled a slightly more complex still life. I really enjoy the Zen-like mode I get into while working with pastels. I am over the moon with the results I got in this second pastel painting!

Thanks to my friend for all her helpful pointers and to my mom-in-law for the beautiful set of Rembrandt soft pastels.

Limes and lemon in pastels

Limes and lemon in pastels

New medium : Pastels

A good friend of mine recently showed me how to get started with using pastels. She also gave some  basic painting pointers to keep in mind and sent me home with some paper so that I have something to use while I waited for my order to arrive. (Yes, I have some lovely friends and I am very grateful.)

I should probably sleep but I was really itching to try out the medium, so here is one. 

lemon in pastels

lemon in pastels

I am looking forward to spending the day tomorrow doing art and I might do more pastel still lives tomorrow. Goodnight and bye for now.