Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day; Pastel Painting Day

This year, I took full advantage of the opportunity to indulge myself on Mothers Day! My kids know that the one thing I love to do the most is to make art. So Mothers Day means Mom makes Art and Dad makes Dinner! (Some of the kids helped too!)

I also took full advantage of the beautiful spring day that we had, and the flowers that were in bloom. The irises were still making me wait, but there was a white azalea bush in full bloom, and some red geraniums in clay pots and some deep purple petunias just asking to be painted! So I set up my french easel out in the front yard and over the course of the day, I worked on two pastel paintings.

For the first one, I focused on the hanging pot of petunias (You can see the petunias in this photo of the 2nd pastel painting-in progress.) I worked on that for awhile, then put it aside to start another, which I also didn't finish (as you can see here). The petunia painting frustrated me because although I thought I owned a large enough assortment of colors, it appeared that I had no pastel color which was quite right to represent those petals! The actual flower is a deep reddish purple. So in order to paint it in bright sunlight, I would want to have at least three pastel sticks which could show the color for the medium value, as well as a dark (shadow) color and a light one for the highlights. Then of course I'd use other colors to blend in for variations in the light, but what I was getting was just not at all what I wanted! So I decided to quit while I was behind! One thing about pastels: you can't mix them like you can with paint! The color of the stick is the color you get when you lay it down.

Now, there is a certain amount of mixing you can do by applying color in layers, but you still need a certain amount of the right hue in your color stick. I also think that maybe the scale of the painting isn't right. It might be better if the image was much larger, but I'm still deciding about that.The other one (the one shown here) had a nice start I think. I incorporated the geraniums and the white azalea in a composition including the front steps. It stayed very loose. Maybe too loose! It definitely needs more work and development. We'll see how it goes.

Mothers Day is over now. Back to the real world!
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