Wild Strawberry Flowers, oil pastel

Ever say yes and then wondered “oh no, what have I gotten myself into?”  Well I was asked to take part in a Wetcanvas Oil Pastel forum monthly challenge – these folks are near and dear to my heart, I really couldn’t say no.  I decided to take a normal beautifully focused reference photograph and change the flowers to a more impressionist – loose style.  Yep and then I wondered whatever did I get myself into – this is where working loosely with charcoal helped me out.

Wild Strawberry Flowers, an oil pastel (10×6.5) was painted on a gesso prepared hardboard surface using mainly Senneliers, Holbeins and Neopastel OPs.  For this painting I started with an acrylic underpainting, then two coats of clear gesso to give the surface some tooth.  A paint brush was used for the watery underpainting that allowed some of the surface to show through, plus the brush gave the surface some nice textures that I used to the advantage of the look I was after.  The underpainting helped establish a base for the background of the scene.  Once set, oil pastels were used to complete the painting.

Thanks for stopping by, click onto the image for a larger view.

Wild Strawberry Flowers

Reference image was from Paul Anderson, moderator of the Wetcanvas OP Monthly Challenge.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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80 Responses to Wild Strawberry Flowers, oil pastel

  1. I adore this painting. It’s intimacy, the soft edges, as if the wind is gently blowing. Wonderful.

  2. elisa ruland says:

    Your lovely painting reminded me to check on our rambling strawberry patch along the side of the house!

  3. I of July says:

    very nice esp when I clicked on the image 🙂

  4. These are so, so lovely.

    Now I’m craving strawberries.

  5. kerlund74 says:

    Such a wonderful painting:) Lovely colors!

  6. Aquileana says:

    Very pretty flowers dear Mary ❤ have a great weekend ahead! Aquileana 😀

  7. It’s beautiful! Produces an effect of softness and purity… 🙂

  8. Mona says:

    I usually kick myself when saying yes to something I’m unsure about. The painting is lovely.

    • Mary says:

      So nice Mona, thank you. I’m a sucker for trying new things – like the piece I’m working on right now, it may not see the light of day. I’m letting it setup over night to see if it hardens a bit to make some much needed changes. Flowers are my mental challenge with oil pastels.

  9. You are so versatile, Mary. Every piece of art you produce is really stunning. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Sylvia for your beautiful compliment. I think I’ll be sticking with flowers for a little while before I head back into painting landscapes and seascapes..

  10. Ah, I think you beat Monet with this one. Hands down, it’s one my favorites. The swirling flowers are now dancing in my head. My eyes are closed. I feel the sunshine. I feel the breeze. And now I’ve got a strong hankering for springtime, blue skies, and wild flowers.

    • Mary says:

      You’re so gracious Theadora with your kind comments ~ Monet is my all time favorite. So glad you enjoyed this intimate scene of flowers, we need buckets of them and lots sun to bring the energy of Spring back in our lives. Paris and all her beautiful gardens will be lovely this Spring – have a wonderful weekend.

  11. ladyfi says:

    That is so lovely!

  12. Amy says:

    So well done, Mary! A lovely reminder of spring 🙂

  13. violetski says:

    Nice work( as always❤️) dear Mary!❤️

  14. My dear Mary, you never cease to amaze me! It seems you can easily transplant any kind of technique on your canvass with beautiful results! This loose-impressionist style is impressive, I believe and can see just as you said that working loosely with charcoal previously had really benefited and gave you the ability to transfer it seemingly easily towards painting. Your decision to take the route of impressionism payed of and delivered a bundle of joy which I really love! Most beautiful, perfectly executed style and I wonder what you will be up to after this challenge!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Eva, thank you as always for your encouraging comments and beautiful thoughts. My natural tendency is to paint tight and I’ve been working hard to loosen it up – I do think charcoal has helped a lot in that area. The whole idea that I can go for a tight design/ style with flowers, to very loose style with light strokes of the oil pastels – is what makes painting so appealing to me. So maybe the point of all the experimenting is that I may never discover my “style” of painting – but just enjoy the process of creating and see what comes. Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!

  15. Lux Ganzon says:

    You are no doubt an artist. 🙂

  16. poppytump says:

    How lovely Mary ! Shady delicate flower faces swaying in the breeze …. and those greens … SO fresh 🙂
    It looks like hours of work to me …

    • Mary says:

      Hi Poppy, great to see you – thank you for your beautiful comment. After this long winter I thought it’s time to celebrate everything Spring, the color and newness of the season is a breath of fresh air. Happy that you are home safe and sound, looking forward to your beautiful images.

  17. Oh, I love these, Mary. When my daughter four, I signed up for Mommie and Me painting classes at Bemis Art School (Colorado College). While she learned to paint sidewalk squares, paper on easels, and the inside of pizza boxes, etc., I learned to paint “early blossoms” of fruits and vegetables in oils. I was very proud of my strawberry flowers painted on porcelain clay. They were not nearly as lovely as yours, and they were not as vivid as my zucchini blossoms, but I loved the process! That was 33 years ago, and I still remember how proud I felt.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Marylin, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I loved reading about your special memory you provided you and your daughter with the painting class – what a wonderful thing to do. In this style my blossoms are far from reality, but was a lot of fun manipulating the paints and seeing what “blossomed” on the surface. What fun walking down memory lane with you, love how you share these special times.

  18. like white “feasts” in the green

  19. Leyla says:

    Beautiful work ❤

  20. Miss Mary
    in the spirit of growth and the time of year that’s in it

    Big Hugs

    uncle john

  21. Francesca says:

    Beautiful work, Mary! I love the style!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you very much Francesca! I’ve been working to paint flowers with this impressionist style – slowly I’ll get there, one painting at a time. Thanks again ~

  22. Craig Johnson says:

    Mary – you are most certainly on your game with fine results.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Craig, appreciate your beautiful feedback and compliment. It was time to get back to painting ~ this was a fun experiment to get my hands dirty with paint!!

  23. Trini Lind says:

    Oh, they are beautiful!!! 🙂 ❤

  24. As I read your description of the painting I am absolutely floored by the amount of work you have put into it – underpainting, gesso etc etc before you actually begin work. It must give your work a lot of texture and feel. Lovely painting as usual 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Malvika for your lovely comment – a little prep work, but your right this preparations upfront ends up giving a lot of texture that oil pastels need to grab onto. That’s what makes this medium fun to experiment with. Thanks again ~

  25. Oh my Mary ! This is Monet worthy !!

    Saw your big blurb about protecting your images. It is so sad that you have to post this. Perhaps adding a watermark may at least carry along with your image when it gets moved elsewhere.

    I haven’t updated with you lately – are you selling yet? I have a friend that has sold paintings on Etsy – even sent them to Australia. Perhaps an idea for you? I still want one of your originals too. 🙂

    • Mary says:

      So great to see you Emily! Thank you very much for your generous comment and compliment. Great idea with watermarking my images, I’ve started to that – I’ll be able to distinguish so we continue to fight this battle. Not selling yet, ha (as you make me smile) – the studio is pretty full with all these pieces though!

      Take care and it always makes my day to see that you’ve visited. Looking forward to your spring and summer photographs ~

  26. This is beautiful! And one of my favorite styles. You handled the white flowers beautifully.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Janell, thank you so much. Painting this scene with a loose style was a good exercise to begin a new season of painting flowers – I’m still not comfortable, but I’m working towards it.

  27. Your strawberry blooms look beautiful against that rich green foliage. Well done!! 🙂 xx

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Marina for your beautiful comment. It was kind of fun to just let go and see where this piece took me. Have a wonderful evening.

  28. I am amazed by that square of four blossoms with a fifth one in the center of the square! Are the bottom ones wilted, or just in the shade….I guess I’m just a little confused by this one, Mary….it doesn’t “feel” like your usual things. ..but that’s okay…you are on a journey and I like how you travel! ❤

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Cynthia – good observation. The bottom two are in shade and there are two more at the top left portion that are out of focused (on purpose) thus aren’t showing up in the photograph. So even though there are seven, 5 are making more of a showing. I did notice after the fact that the square showed up, but was too late w/oil pastels to make a change – although I could have added one or two more to make a bunch. Oh well, we’ll look to do something like a bunch on the next one. Strawberry flower petals are smooth, but in this piece I wanted a more lacy feel to them to go along with the loose-impressionist style. Yes this journey takes me way off course sometimes, but it has been a good ride so far. Thanks again Cynthia, I love your artistic eye – great observation. Have a wonderful evening.

  29. Painting for Joy says:

    I LOVE it Mary!!

  30. Your method description is very helpful in understanding the media you use for result desired.

  31. Nice work Mary! A nice reminder that spring is really going to come after all. ~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Rita – we have five opened daffodils (lying on the ground, but they are opened). Our Bradford Pear tree is in bloom – yep we are slowly getting there.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Sarah, thank you so much for your nice comment. Looks like better service has finally found its way to you. Have a lovely evening.

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