Monday, June 10, 2013

Parfum final

This is the final result of the perfume bottles painting. I have painted the reflections; this was done on top of the dark background, which I mostly used as the background within the reflected images, except for the left most bottle, which needed a dark blue background. The surrounding background was finally darkened some more with Sennelier's blackest pastel. Some odd lights and highlights added. Time to stop.
“Parfum” © Niall O’Neill

Monday, June 3, 2013


Patrick Susskind's disturbing novel was probably in the back of my mind when I started this painting back in October last year.  I put it aside as other projects took priority, but it's back on track, with only the reflections to assess and paint.
The first picture is pretty well as I left it in October. Hard pastels only to that point.

Image 2 is showing some detail in hard pastels on the lettering; the bottles have been repainted in soft pastels. And the background is being tentatively blocked in.

In the third photo the background colours have been determined. There are greys from Rembrandt in the top right corner, proceeding to the left on dark blue and dark green from Sennelier. The bottom half is Sennelier's dark green (177 again) and also black - an interesting black; I tried black from Rembrandt and from Roché, but Sennelier's seems warmer. By the way, the Hypnose bottle has two white brands in the big white patches - the upper one is Sennelier,  a very soft, creamy pastel. The lower corner is from Roché; I found this much more grainy in texture than the Sennelier, and more controllable. The little red bottle has Rembrandt's Mars Violet as its dark centre.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Brassy Tulips

I had wanted to paint tulips for some time, and Spring is the obvious season, when they are available in many shades and stripes. These copper-colour blooms caught my eye and I could imagine them in one of my brass jugs that was waiting to be painted.
I could not get the arrangement I wanted as the flowers were standing upright, so I took the water out of the vase and caught them when they started to droop.
The pastels used were a mixture of Rembrandt and Sennellier; the shades were yellow and gold ochres, some light oranges, and some orangey pinks. The blossom on the left is in shadow more as the light is from the right. I started with a light block in of approximate colours and values with hard pastels and pastel pencils.
I started to block in the background in order to get a feel for lights and darks once the flowers were nearing completion. I can't do it too soon as I will certainly dirty the light colours inadvertantly.

Time to start work on the leaves and vase. The greens were an interesting mix of bronze greens and blue greens.
The brass goblet on the left was quite in shadow, and barely registered in the set-up. I decided that I has to lose the edges both right and left to achieve the effect required.

Nearly done; but something not quite right - maybe too much empty darkness on bottom right? And of course the reflections were not complete.
“Septet for Brass” © Niall O’Neill
Time to stop. I added the fallen petal, even if it is a bit of a cliché. The reflection of the goblet was barely visible in the set-up. Believe it or not, it is exaggerated in the painting. Pastel on Clairefontaine Pastel Mat, about 24 x 18 ins.