Some years ago I took some photographs of wooden ducks on a shelf in a giftshop in Aubeterre-sur-Drone, in the Charente, France. I liked the layout, I liked the ducks, and I thought I might make a painting of the subject. I finally got around to it last autumn, so here it is - Forte Dux (or Shelf Life - take your pick!)
This was the initial sketch, and the pencils and hard pastels used to get the underpainting done.
You can see that the underpainting is quite flat and poster-like.
You can see that I progress from left to right, being right-handed, and the clutch of ducks on the right side are unpainted wood.
Now I have begun to use soft pastels. The brands here consist of a variety, chiefly Schminke, Sennelier, and Blue Earth.
You can make out some of the colours used along the bottom of the paper. I counted them up at the end, and it came to about 70 different pastel sticks.
The finished painting, with the wooden shelf and the concrete background put in. The French flags were already on the ducks, and I left them as a bright note of colour.