floral | Painting | pastel | Still life

Forsythia and Copper Canister, work in progress.

Today I thought it would be great to have another dose of spring.  I have loved forsythia since I was a kid.  I have some great memories of a forsythia bush that we had in our backyard that you could actually crawl inside of.  It was like being surrounded by sunshine!

This is a work in progress shot of a pastel still life that I started today.  I began with a 18×24″ sheet of museum grade Wallis paper mounted on to a sheet of 4 ply mat board.  I used a large round bistel brush and toned the paper with a very, very thin wash of oil paint.  If you are going to use oil paint as an underpainting, it is important to use a good quality thinner, I use Gamsol by Gamblin. Another must for oil underpainting sucess is to keep the oil paint thin.  It should look and feel a little like tea.  Think watercolor as you are painting.  Let the white of the paper show through for anything white in your set-up

Once the paint had dried, which took very little time because of all the Gamsol, I blocked  in the pastel painting with Nupastels and Rembrants.  Jumping in with pastels, I did a couple rounds just looking at the big pattern of shapes and values to refine the image left by the oil underpainting.  I always like to start with the darks and build up to the lights.

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4 Comments

  1. Have you ever used oil pastels as your underpainting, blending with thinner? I really like this just as it is. Love the shimmering quality of the colours.

  2. Your forsythia is in bloom already? I had a beautiful forsythia at my house in Oklahoma and I sure miss it and all of the other flowering bushes. I’m left here in Colorado to admire the gorgeous foothills views and desert-like landscape. A different appreciation.

  3. These are from my florist. I don’t think I could make it through the winter without a trip to the flower shop every now and then for a dose of spring! Yesterday in Minnesota, we got dumped on with 10 inches of snow, and an overnight low of minus 3.

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