Thursday, my drawing day for 1/2 hour, had me continuing on with Sorrow.
Today I made an important decision on how to move forward with this piece. Sorrow, for those that don’t know, is a drawing of a statue that shows all the characteristics of someone’s deep pain as they bow their face in pain and prayer. The statute is outside and exhibits signs of being exposed to all kinds of weather. There were two directions I could go with this drawing, 1) I imagined the statute as sandblasted (years of grit and grim that has accumulated wash away) and drawn as gleaming white, or 2) leave what I call “elements of character,” the marks of what she has endured over her lifetime.
The decision – draw the essence (to a point) that shows her fight with what life has thrown her way: sun, rain, snow and ice. But really though, don’t you agree that these marks show her strength and tells her story. Isn’t that the way life is for us, we wear the marks of our life – they define us and at times tell our story.
Sorrow will be showing her markings, characters of life – after all they are what brings us to feel the depth of her pain and sorrow. Today I used graphite pencils 4H, 2H, HB, B and 2B.
First time for everything right? My latest oil pastel painting Lemon Gathering has a few firsts for me – 1st time painting lemons and a glass bowl.
Lemon Gathering (8×8) was painted on Mi-Teintes cream tinted pastel paper using Sennelier oil pastels and several Holbeins. Look at a lemon long enough and a variety of colors begin to show themselves, so while the foundation of the lemons are yellow I decided to dramatize this piece a bit and intensify the colors. Brighter than what I normally paint, but it fit the vision I had for the painting.
A wonderful photographer and artist, Lillian Bell from pmp, provided a beautiful photograph as the reference image for this painting – although used as inspiration, much was changed from the original source.
Pears are interesting subjects to paint, so when I have an opportunity I try not to pass it up. This painting was composed from several images from pmp that I thought would make for an interesting combination.
This oil pastel painting Trio Pears (5×7) was painted on Mi-Teintes black tinted pastel paper using mostly Senneliers and Holbein oil pastels. Once again black paper was choosen as the surface giving the piece a wonderful dark undertone allowing the rich and vibrant oil pastel colors to standout.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend, we were at 82 degrees on Saturday and today 26 degree with snow, sleet and ice – my beautifully opened daffodils are sleeping on the ground (so sad, they just opened late Saturday afternoon).
Here is a painting that was started yesterday as I continue experimenting with flower arrangements, but it wasn’t long before I got carried away adding flowers and plants - the garden grew before my eyes. Perhaps strangely so, there are a few stragglers that I’m not too sure of ~
Container Garden, an oil pastel (12×9, Strathmore pastel paper - 400 Series, cream tinted), is a combination of plants that I’ve used in my gardens. Perhaps it’s my way of getting ready for Spring with 15 daffodil buds ready to open and many more on the way, Spring really is right around the corner.
I’m getting anxious to begin painting a few sunsets/sunrises and finally landscapes for Spring and into Summer, but there are a few more floral experiments that are on my list. I won’t be starting a 30-day challenge with flowers any time soon – too much going on to be faithful to that schedule.
Today I was able to get an early start in the studio and decided to devote the first 1/2 hour to Thursdays drawing instead of waiting until the end of the day.
For the latest session on Sorrow, I went to work on the lower left-hand corner of the fabric, being mindful that while this drawing is of a statue, there still remains a certain look to achieve in order for the viewer to visualize that the subject is smooth-flowing fabric. The surface is Strathmore Vellum, using 4H, 2H, HB, B and 2B.
Sorrow is such a powerful word to describe emotion, I believe it comes from deep within the gut – perhaps because sorrow leaves its imprints on our soul. I felt this emotional pull the moment I laid eyes on the image . . . ah well, to be continued another day.
I’ve wanted to paint these Callas and blue bowl for a while now, and after some loose flower arrangements it was really nice doing a tight piece.
This oil pastel (8×10) painted on Mi-Teintes black tinted pastel paper. Working with black pastel paper can be great for obtaining an overall dark undertone to a painting, but it’s a great challenge to cover the black if trying to lay down light colors (in this case, cream and yellows) – a real struggle to get decent coverage. I did let the painting setup over night, and was able to lay down more layers for the center of the callas. With this brand of pastel paper, it won’t take a wet medium (i.e. watercolor, gouache, or acrylic) for a underpainting - so you’re stuck with what you can manage with the oil pastels. Senneliers, neopastels and Holbeins brands were used.
Hope you have a wonderful evening.
This Oil Pastel (7×5) study was painted on Cotman watercolor paper using a gouache underpainting. In this 3rd version the greens are a little less tight than the 2nd version, more blue was used for tinting the green, less burnt sienna used, the vase shape is more square, and an edge of the table was brought in.
Continuing with my study of painting flower arrangements, here is my third and final version of this particular arrangement. The goal of the studies was to gain some experience painting a full flower arrangement and flowers/greens in general, using a loose style and explore gouache as a underpainting. Watercolor paper was chosen to use up an old supply, but as usual discovered I discovered what I liked and didn’t like about using the surface with oil pastels.
In another post I’ll explore my findings both on using watercolor paper as a surface with oil pastels and gouache as an underpainting (a technique for developing more depth within a flower arrangement). If painting with just OPs, mud can be developed very quickly during the layering process, so an underpainting is a good preventative technique to avoid muddying a piece.
To be honest I’m not excited about any of the three country flower versions, they are different from my natural style and I have limited experience in painting flowers.
I may do a 30-day flower arrangement painting challenge, whether in a garden or vase, to give me experience on many levels. Need to give this some thought – what do you think?
Oil pastels: 7×5
Stonehenge Vellum finish paper
My second study on this floral arrangement as I continue to explore the use of soft, hard and lost/found edges. This time I used a Gouache underpainting to give some depth to the greenery – it left a matted finish which didn’t interfere when layers of oil pastels were applied.
A couple of petals could be changed and probably less of the yellow-green in the foreground of the arrangement, but I’m getting a feel for painting floral arrangements in a looser style. It’s progress, but still a lot more learning ahead.
Oil pastels: 7×5
Stonehenge Vellum finish paper
This is a study on painting flowers in a loose style and exploring the use of soft and loose hard edges. Talk about trying everything at once, but if I don’t put myself out there how am I going to learn. If I had smudged the oil pastel here and there it would have made for fuller greens in the middle, although in the real painting it’s showing better than here.
I used two wonderful photographs for inspiration by Heidi Andersen and Mantana both of pmp.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for checking in,
My favorite day to draw, ha – my only day to draw! Anyway here we are again pressed against the deadline, but I did get my 30 minutes in and happy to continue on with bringing this piece alive.
Today work continued on the bottom right-half of the fabric. Using graphite 4H, 2H and HB the folds with light and shadow were developed. This is one of those drawings that I get totally absorbed into the piece, I guess it’s the emotional aspect of what the statue stands for that holds my attention. Why is there so much sorrow in the world?
Have a good evening and thanks for checking in.