Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tureen #2

Tureen #2 is another attempt at faithfully rendering a fancy ceramic soup tureen which was unlikely ever to have seen service other than as an ornament. I used a full size 70 x 90 sheet of Pastelmat for this one.

The first pair of images shows the line drawing of the outline and internal elements of the design; and the scribbled-in underpainting to start the process of lights, darks and undercolours. Once again, the colour of the support varies in these photos depending on the light source at the time.

The next images show the process developing, the underpainting is faithful to the values, but not at all to the final colour. I'm using pastel pencils, and Rembrandt pastels at this stage. Some blending has begun, and the ceramic flowers on the lid is quite densely painted, even though the colours will change.

The flowers have now been rendered in the final colours, using quinacridone pink from Blue Earth pastels. The body of the bowl has begun, mostly with Rembrandt blue grey range,

The underpainting of the lace area is apparent in the image on the left. There are tans, violets and dark greys blended in that will give life to the upper layers. As the lace is painted, I will draw some areas of detail to give the illusion of overall detail; but the main work is done by lightly dragging very pale neutral pastels by Roché over the coloured base. These pastels, used lightly on their side, give a very effective impression of cloth or material.
The second image, of the finished piece, shows the very strong diagonal impact of the painting, also echoed by the lines of shadow in the background. (You can see what a difference  a painted background makes, especially as a contrast to a white ceramic object, even if there are no whites anywhere except in the highlights!)

And this is the final image:- pastel brands used were Rembrandt, Blue Earth, Artisan Pastellier, Roché, Sennelier, and Jackson.
Tureen #2 © Niall O’Neill
UPDATE April 2019
This pastel was awarded a honorable mention in the Still Life category of the 2018 Pastel 100, and published with the other 99 prizewinners (out of 2,000 submissions) in the April 2019 issue of the Pastel Journal. The painting was sold at the Pastel-en-Périgord biennial exhibition, 2016, and has gone to a new home in the Netherlands.


  1. Your work is extraordinary! Very glad I found your blog. I love how you show the progress in photos.

  2. Thank you Ruth for your kind and timely comment. I got to see it just after I got back from delivering the painting to the Salon International de Pastel in Saint-Aulaye, in the Dordogne, France. The show opens next Saturday and looks like being exceptional. I'll post about it when I can.

  3. This pastel won an Honorable Mention for Still Life in the 2019 Pastel 100