View Full Version : Bleeding Hearts

06-20-2015, 09:49 PM
This is my first attempt at painting flowers and my first time using sanded paper - UArt 400 grade. It is 6"x8", done with mostly Derwent pastel pencils and is based on my own photo. C&C please. I can't decide if it's done.


06-21-2015, 08:59 AM
Here is the reference photo.


06-21-2015, 09:30 AM
I think you did a great job capturing the picture. Last night I wrote a long response and then deleted it since I rambled on and to be honest I am no expert, learning myself. The photo has no real play of light and shadows which I think may be why you are not sure if done. Consider making up a play of sunlight and don't hesitate to use some fun colors in the flowers and leaves. Pick a few of the flowers to be the focal point and play them up a lot. My teacher usually makes us put the reference picture away after we get the basic sketch down. Frees you up to play with colors.

There is a YouTube video I like that I'll look up the title to. Not sure how to cut and paste link on the iPad I'm using but I'll get title for you.

Pam :wave:

06-21-2015, 09:54 AM
YouTube video is "How to work with pastels with Lyn Diefenback" it's one of the shows from an Austrailian show called "Put some Colour in Your Life".

She doesn't start painting the flower till about half way but worth waiting for.

I like this Australian show since many good demos for free.


Donna T
06-21-2015, 12:59 PM
Very nice! You did a great job with a complicated flower. One thing I notice in the photo is that the leaves receiving direct light are cooler in color than those hidden underneath. The ones underneath seem to glow a little warmer green because they are not as influenced by the bluish sky.

06-21-2015, 04:59 PM
Tina, this is really pretty! Your drawing is beautifully detailed and gives the painting a solid foundation. I do think you could go with more vibrant colors on the flowers, but I don't know if pencils offer intense colors (?) and getting detail with pastel sticks in such a small painting would definitely be a challenge.

Pam, I watched that video and enjoyed seeing her work. Thank you for recommending it!

06-22-2015, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the comments and the feedback. I really appreciate it. I've tried to incorporate all your suggestions but I'm not sure if I succeeded. This has definitely been a learning experience.

Pam, thanks also for suggesting the video. It was very informative. I did use three different values as she suggested but not sure I got it right.

Donna, I warmed up some of the greens but I think I did the opposite of what you said.:( Big sigh.

Blayne, I added some more color to the flowers. The colors in the photo of the painting aren't exactly right and I believe it looks better and more vibrant IRL. The flowers are more pink in the actual painting.

Here's the new version:


Donna T
06-22-2015, 12:33 PM
Tina, I hope my comments didn't come across as being critical - you really have done very nice work by all accounts! The light in your reference photo is not the best and any of us would have trouble with it. I like the changes you made and think you should be proud of your work on this!

Here's a link I found that is geared toward illustrators but it applies to all artists. It explains how important the color of light is in painting. I'll be reading this many more times until it sinks in! I just thought it is worth sharing. http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2015/06/harmonious-color.html

06-22-2015, 01:38 PM
Donna, I didn't think you were being critical at all. I really do appreciate your feedback. I had read your suggestions, as well as the other suggestions, and started working on making changes. It was only after I finished that I realized I probably did the opposite of what you said - unintentionally. Oh well, live and learn. Don't worry about being too critical because I am much harder on myself than anyone on WC has ever been. You all are some of the nicest people I've "almost " met. 😀

06-22-2015, 01:40 PM
Donna, thanks for the link too. I plan to read it as soon as I can.

06-22-2015, 01:54 PM
Hi Tina,
I'm very much a beginner so my feedback won't be as useful as a more experienced pastelist's but I think you did a great job with that piece! I especially like your work on the foliage in the foreground. I also like that you blurred the background a bit so my attention is brought more to the flowers up front. I'd read on the "How to get started in soft Pastels" thread for newbies that that is the way to go, so nice job. It was also mentioned that with flowers working bigger can be easier so I don't know how you got so much detail in such a small piece! Impressive :)

And what did you think of your first go with sanded paper? I just tried it for the first time as well last week and was super impressed compared to the canson paper I had used on my first couple of attempts.

Also, thanks for the you tube video suggestion- it was a good one!

Nice job and thanks for sharing :)

06-22-2015, 02:17 PM
Sarah, thank you so much for your nice comments. I'm new at all this too - been painting for about a year now. And I really like the sanded paper. I was afraid to use it at first because it isn't cheap and I didn't want to waste it. But I'm glad I tried it and plan to use it often.

I can't take credit for suggesting the you tube video. That was Pam. 😀

I would love to see some of your pastel paintings.

06-23-2015, 01:59 PM
Tina, I like you new version very much. You did a very nice job.
Just remember to enjoy painting and enjoy your pastels. They paint best when we're smiling.

06-23-2015, 02:26 PM
Hey Tina! I'm pretty new here and to critiquing in general, so you may take my advice with a grain of salt. I also know you said the photo does not perfectly show the painting, so this may not be so apparent when viewing it in person.

I really love the pink and green, I feel like the colors pair and contrast well. Your forms are well actualized and textured. Something about the image felt hard to read though, so I put it in my image editor and leeched it of its colors.


(I also made it smaller so it was easier to focus on composition as opposed to details.)

After having seen it desaturated, I think that there can be just a tad more value separation between your foreground and the background to back up the color contrast and really pull those flowers forward. Notice how well formed and easy to see the leaves on the bottom are because of the dark backing underneath them. Just a little bit darker in the background or otherwise enhancing the value contrast between the foreground stem+flowers and the leaves would really pull it together I think!

06-23-2015, 05:54 PM
Thanks Jay. I do enjoy painting. I don't expect to ever be a professional pastelist but I do want to do the best I can so I can be my own worst critic. But I have a lot of fun using my pastels too!

Hi Kees. Welcome to WC and thanks for the feedback. I see what you're saying about the background and I agree that it should be darker. I really had problems with it and I will try to remember your suggestions on my next painting. I have framed this and I'm submitting it to a local festival art show so I can't make anymore changes to it right now. I don't expect to win anything but I thought it would be fun to enter. The entries have to be based on the artist's own photo (if applicable) and I don't have many of those, so I decided to enter this one and one other.

I have learned quite a bit on WC and appreciate everyone's comments and critiques.

06-24-2015, 09:54 PM
Sounds good, Tina. Backgrounds are pretty rough when it comes to balancing them with your subject so I don't blame you for having struggled with it. Good luck in your art show!

06-26-2015, 02:34 AM
The little flowers remind me of 1960's hairstyles. :)