Friday, March 18, 2011

Fuchsia Bells

This is a little painting on Pastelmat, sheet size 18 x 24 cm (7 x 9.5 ins).
The first picture is of the initial drawing. The flowers are done entirely with Derwent and CarbOthello pastel pencils at this point, in order to work out the colour range. The background is a mixture of Rembrandt and Sennelier  for the leaves, and Sennelier dark green (179) and dark blue (465) for the background. The first lay-in was sprayed with fixative as I did not want the darks getting into the flowers.

Second round was to detail the flowers, using mainly Sennelier - 361-367 purples; 323-329 violet purple; 940-94 violet magenta; and blues 388-395. I also used Schminke madder lake for a different colour bias in the pinks. I did a little more work on the leaves, adding a Sennelier teal to the colours, but not over-emphasising them, but keeping them back. The stamens and styles were last, and in order to keep an even thickness in soft pastel I drew a line with a sharp craft knife in a strip of masking tape, and carefully  separated the two divisions about a millimetre apart, placing them on the background before painting the detail in the narrow gap. No fixative was used after the initial spray. Job done. Sign and frame.
I had a black frame lying around for this size support, so I popped in the painting to see how it looked in black. There are reflections in the glass of course, but you can see the effect.


  1. Nice seeing your progress and the finished is stunning in a very compatible frame.

  2. Thanks Susan. I wondered about making the right edge of the right blossom more "lost" but I didn't want to push it into the background as much as the leaves. In reality the petals are darker, thus closer in tone, than the photo shows.

  3. It looks excellent framed! I love how you've only shown the detail on a few of the leaves so as not to drown out the flowers with too busy a background. An excellent move and a good work.

  4. Hi Caroline - it seems to have appealed to a client too! The painting is on its way to Canada.