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Yellow Flowers in a Magenta World

Yellow Flowers in a Magenta World, 5x7",pastel by Jeffrey Smith
Yellow Flowers in a Magenta World, 5×7″,pastel by Jeffrey Smith

I can’t even think of the last time I did a pastel still life.  I had this composition all set up.  I had a square oil painting panel out and ready to go.  I was about to get out the oil paints themselves, and get to work.

As I looked back at my set up, I couldn’t help but see it as a  pastel painting;  the wonderfully vivid color of the magenta background blending with the blue objects on the table and the tablecloth itself.  All of that contrasted against the yellow floral arrangement, and green bowl.

I worked on an Ampersand Pastelboard for this little painting.  Because of the even tooth and the ability to layer and layer pastel on the board, I would definitely recommend them to anyone working in pastel.  I can see really see how the Pastelboard would work well with a gouache or watercolor under-painting.

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  1. Delicious colour mix. I must try some different grounds like Pastel board. I was reading about doing an underpainting in pastel – hard pastel – and then blending it with either mineral spirits or water and then drawing into that with the soft pastel.

  2. I have tried that with mineral spirits. I used Gamsol odorless thinner. It worked great. The pastel almost melts into the thinner. The only problem that I found, was keeping the colors clean. I ended up using different brushes for the lights, mid-tones, and the darks.

  3. Wow! These colors really stand out! I love that background color in contrast to the blues! Good to see this done in pastel.

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