View Full Version : Smoke and Mirrors - a floral

01-15-2006, 12:20 AM
Well we've fairly well hashed my last thread to death so here is something new....another dark one.
C&C welcome and appreciated.

7.5" x 10.5" on La Carte


Cheers, Dianna :cat:

01-15-2006, 12:26 AM
Hi Dianna,
Beautiful, as usual. I certainly admire your skill at compostion as well as your pastel painting ability.

01-15-2006, 12:32 AM
Well thank you so much Wolfie....I don't believe we've met up before. :wave: Second thought, than name sounds familiar. Hmmmmm Nice you to stop in and comment :p

Cheers, Dianna

01-15-2006, 03:51 AM
Beautiful dianna. I am trying a dark one right now, a kind of Japanese theme with lots of reds and blacks, but it is sitting on the easel frowning at me.
Not sure why.
This one of yours glows.

01-15-2006, 03:58 AM
..... ............ ............ :wave: :D
Mads :D

01-15-2006, 05:19 AM
Another great one! :evil:

Kathryn Wilson
01-15-2006, 08:04 AM
Beautiful as usual, but I am questioning the title - is there a mirror there that I can't see?

01-15-2006, 08:28 AM
Dianna, this is just too beautiful for words. So, here are some emoticons...:) :rolleyes: :p :D :clap: bye:wave:

01-15-2006, 09:55 AM
Diana - my favorite flower is the rose. I grow many. I am interested in how you were able to make it look so real. I am very interested in the technique you use. It is a beautiful portrait.

01-15-2006, 11:41 AM
excuse me. don't mean to double post. I just have to say, went back to this painting and am just amazed by it. Felt the need to express my admiration.

01-15-2006, 11:43 AM
..... but it is sitting on the easel frowning at me.
Not sure why.
Oh yes!! Been there, done that Jackie! LOL

Mads...you've been reading my other post regarding brevity...and I think you win hands down don't you think so Marnie? :clap: :clap: :D

Kat I just do that to see if your paying attention :D Ahhh....smoke plant leaves......mostly hidden in the shadows but there nontheless and a shiny silver cup as a vase reflecting the rose on the table. Hey I was desperate here for a title :cat:

Donna thank you so much........I'll take all those most gratefully :D

Diane, thank you so much!! These are quite small roses but not miniature. I don't think the full blooms were even 2.5 inches across. That's why they'er in a cup rather than a vase. Beautifull aren't they. I picked them up at a Renaissance fair...dragged then around in the heat all day, kept them in the beer fridge for at least a week and photographed them until they dropped so I have a few paintings of them. :D I'll see what I can find any WIP shots from a different piece for you.

Cheers, Dianna

01-15-2006, 12:16 PM
Hello Diane...this is all I could find that I had on hand.

Firstly I work from left top corner to bottom right as I'm righ handed, finishing each section as I go. The backround was just black and I wasn't worrried about finishing that part as I could turn it upside down and do it later but I dd define the outside edge of each petal once it was done.

So each petal is competed before I go on to the next and it doesn't matter if it is in front of or behind another one, the only thing that matters is that I do the one that is hardest to complete (needs the most blending of colours) first so that I have less chance of messing up when putting the next one down beside it.

This is how I would imagine I completed this flower.


You can see the bottom one progressing the same way....


This is from my article in the International Artist Magazine issue "38 if you want to look up the rest of it. I don't recall if I posted the whole progression here on WC or not.

Hope this is of some help........Cheers, Dianna :wave:

M Douglas
01-15-2006, 12:33 PM
Absolutely stunning!!!


01-15-2006, 12:51 PM
Hi Dianna,

I can see the light !

Kind regards,


01-15-2006, 01:11 PM
Absolutely beautiful. I truly love your style and your WIP is always so helpful. Thank you for being a part of this forum and posting and being so helpful. Its masters like yourself that is so willing to pass along your knowledge to beginnners like myself that makes this such a wonderful place to gain knowledge and experiance. thanks james

01-15-2006, 01:47 PM
Well hello Melodie....haven't heard from you in a while. :D :wave:

Josť....and the dark too I think LOL

James what kind words...thanks so very much but don't forget....I'm just having fun too. :p

Cheers, Dianna

Kathryn Wilson
01-15-2006, 01:58 PM
Of course, Smoke and Mirrors could mean something else altogether - like the magician you are - you have us believing it's easy to do. :evil:

01-15-2006, 02:28 PM
Holy smoke and mirrors! You are the master magician, bringing this beautiful sunlight to our rainy corner of the land. Not to meantion, of course, how easy you make it look! Each piece becomes my favourite----until I see the next one. Thanks for inspiring us.

01-15-2006, 02:32 PM
Diana, you are a gem to share your work with me (and anyone else interested in your technique). I must say I was looking thru my Wayside Gardens catalog this morning and an Iris struck me. Was going to order it and came here and saw your painting. I am inspired now to paint that little Iris.
Your rose sounds like a polyantha or floribunda. They are so sweet. The orange you have on your postings at the bottom. I think I've seen that before. Have you been in the P. Journal or in Best of Pastel. not sure where I have seen it but, I do remember the painting.
I work like you do. A section at a time. Usually from top left as well so, I know exactly what you mean.
Thank you very very much for your help. Roses have been difficult for me.

01-15-2006, 03:04 PM
I always forget about that little devil....must find a place to use him LOL

Hello Pat.......long time gone....:wave: at least it seems that way. Thanks so much. I know your talking about the painting because I'm sure you wouldn't be crediting me with the actual sunshine we managed to pull of today. :)

Thanks again Diane....I do hope you post the iris when its done. As for the orange........you may be thinking about a similar overhead of an orange. It won the International Association of Pastel Societies ....whew (IAPS) competition for the cover of their conference catalogue. Urania requested an extra slide to send of to one of those magazines but I don't know which...I haven't seen anything yet. Of course I haven't read any of my magazines in the past two months.....most are still wrapped in pastic to let me know I haven't gotten to them yet LOL Let me know if you see it anywhere. :)

Cheers, Dianna

Mikki Petersen
01-15-2006, 03:34 PM
Another beautifl painting, Dianna! I enjoyed seeing how you progress through the painting of a rose. Fascinates me how well you paintings come together considering you paint it section by section.


01-15-2006, 05:26 PM
I will. That orange always made me want to take a slice! lol.

01-15-2006, 06:41 PM
:clap: reminds me of my Mom :o

Question : is the cloth actually white, there where the light hits it, or do you have colours in there? It is so bright I want to squint :D


Merethe T
01-15-2006, 07:50 PM
Well.........it's just BRILLIANT!!! :) :cat: :clap: :music:

01-16-2006, 09:02 AM
Diana, I've been working on the Iris and it's coming along wonderful. I remember when I did my first pastel ever. Had these really cheapie pastels and knew nothing about the medium and did some poppies. It came out really well. I did it the way you do and how I'm doing this one. After I got some books and learned some about pastels I stopped doing flowers that way and forgot about it. Never did flowers as well again until now. I guess my first instinct and your way is the best for flowers after all. I'll post it when it's finished and dedicate it to you! lol.

01-16-2006, 10:12 AM
Dianna- wow- even with your lovely demo- just don't know how you do such perfection....totally drops my jaw...

01-16-2006, 12:38 PM
A rose by any other hand would not be as sweet! :wink2: Thanks for the demo!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jan-2006/33616-11613-jawdrop.gif

01-16-2006, 02:45 PM
, kept them in the beer fridge for at least a week

LOL A lady after my own heart:D

Seriously, this is just gorgeous!! So delicate, yet against the dark background its dramatic!

01-16-2006, 09:12 PM
Truly stunning, once again. Your paintings never fail to amaze me!

Just wondering, how do you manage to work so much detail in such a small painting? I was looking at your WIP with the asian teapot & cherries, and I simply can't IMAGINE how much time you must spend developing a quarter-inch square of the paper... do you work largely with pastel pencils, or do you break down pastel sticks?

01-16-2006, 09:46 PM
This is beautiful.

My eye is drawn to the lost edge in the white section of this painting, at the bottom left of the container. It makes me squint. Then I smile.



01-16-2006, 10:51 PM
Incredible painting:clap: I don't see how you do it, but, appreciate you sharing it with us.:wave: The lighting is superb!

01-16-2006, 11:44 PM
Oh my, I've been playing hooky....

Thank you Mikki and Merethe...sometimes Mikki I'm surprised my self ;) but because I finish one section at a time doesn't mean I never go back in to do adjustments.

No colours in the tablecloth Meisie, which might explain the squint. I use pure white just as often as I do pure black.

Thank you Linda and Deirdre for the 'jaw drop' coments..they're certainly muc better that the eek :eek: LOL

The beer or the 'keeping them in the fridge' Barbara?

SH....It truly isn't as time consuming as you think. Most things are done with large pastels put down like those cherries and blended just once. The glaze was done with pencils so it was fairly quick. Now if you want to see a painting that took days of "one square inch" progress...I'll see if I can find a good photo of my market scene tomorrow. :evil:

In answer to your question....I use pastels sticks whenever possible but if in something like these, if I have the right colour in pencils I would sure use them. The problem is they don't ususally have enough shades to do a decent job. I don't sharpen sticks ....only use their edges.

Many thanks MA and Nic........I use so much dark that if I didn't throw in a 'glow in the dark' effect every now and then, you'ld never see some of my paintings. :D

Cheers, Dianna :wave: Thanks people.

01-17-2006, 04:53 PM
Wow this is great too. :clap: If I get into your Wales workshop (still hopeful) Can we do something like this in class? My wife the gardner, would love this.

Ta Ta Tich

01-17-2006, 05:08 PM
Hi again Tich....you get around LOL

I don't usually recommend starting with roses as they're quite fiddley but since I've never seen your work I can't judge just how well you might handle them. You might well do wonderfully. Why don't you email me some of your work and I'll tell answer your question. Hope to see you there...Cheers, Dianna :clap:

01-17-2006, 05:21 PM
Wow. I love the glow! Thank you so much for sharing the detail pics and how you work. Stunning.


01-17-2006, 05:54 PM
Hello Dianna,
I am new to pastels and very much enjoying them. I have been to your website and hope to attend a workshop soon. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge... your paintigns are heartbreakingly beautiful.
Kelowna, B.C.

01-17-2006, 06:02 PM
Diana - a wee question. You said you "photographed them until they dropped". Does this mean that you took loads of photos, so that you would have plenty of reference material to use? So you did not work from the setup? I always work a still life from real life, somehow have never given myself "permission" to use my camera except when I am away from the studio, then it becomes an adjunct to my sketchbook! I reckon I am probably a bit daft - flowers do wilt under strong lights, so having reference photos to use would no doubt be very helpful.

01-17-2006, 06:28 PM
And thank you Jamie so much for stopping in on your rounds :wave:

How nice to see someone from Kelowna....Hi Susan and thanks to you too....I will be up your way this year visting as President of the Federation of Canadian Artists...do you belong to the Chapter there? Perhaps we will run into each other. :wave:

Hello Jackie.:wave: ....I got the letter off now will wait and see..:p Yes, oh yes, oh yes!! I photograph everything from every angle and under all sorts of lighting situations :D I make hay when the sun shines. I stop whatever I'm doing and throw a bunch of things into the path of the sun and shoot for as long as I can. On our deary winter days, I have tons of things to choose from. The only time I draw still life from a set up is in one of my classes this is the particular focus. So yes, I do use photos almost all of the time and I also use BLACK :eek: LOL It's always such fun saying that :p

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

01-17-2006, 06:57 PM
Black and white! You inspire me! ;) I love licorice black!

This winter especially we don't have much sunshine for making hay :(


01-17-2006, 07:36 PM
Hi Dianna, dramatic lighting is so......DRAMATIC! :)
Just beautiful.
I especially love the very very soft light light pink. It has innocence and summer days enveloping it, such sweetness.

01-17-2006, 08:07 PM
Black and white! You inspire me! ;) I love licorice black!


Cindy.....your right now that I look at it....it is soft and light and pink despite all the black. :D

Cheers, Dianna:cat:

01-18-2006, 05:05 PM
You have no taste ;) :D


01-18-2006, 05:51 PM
You're just sweeter than me and need something to even you out. :D

Cheers, Dianna

01-19-2006, 02:42 AM
Hello Jackie.:wave: ....I got the letter off now will wait and see..:p Yes, oh yes, oh yes!! I photograph everything from every angle and under all sorts of lighting situations :D I make hay when the sun shines. I stop whatever I'm doing and throw a bunch of things into the path of the sun and shoot for as long as I can. On our deary winter days, I have tons of things to choose from. The only time I draw still life from a set up is in one of my classes this is the particular focus. So yes, I do use photos almost all of the time and I also use BLACK :eek: LOL It's always such fun saying that :p

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

I use black Too!!!! Hooray!
Gosh, you have somehow given me "permision" to use photo reference for still life when the sun shines (not often these days but I just probably missed it when it did!) - thanks for that. Great idea. Cannot imagine why I haven't done so before, I use the camera on location all the time - I think I must just have had abit of a mental block about doing so at home. Dunno, maybe it felt like cheating. So silly really, but then again, I do find that I "loosen up" slightly when I work from life, and "tighten up" slightly when I have a photo, probably because I slow right down and am more careful. And I am after a "looser" look I guess, tho I do admire your images, I don't want to paint in quite the same way. At the end of the day, we share a love of dramatic lighting, so I reckon the photo is the way to go, to capture that odd moment before the sun disappears, it is so much nicer than artificial lighting.

so thanks for that little bit of inspiration.

I have a show to work for this year - have been agonising about subject matter -cannot seem to get myself into gear, so perhaps this will give me a kick-start. I have bought lots of canvasses, because tho I love my pastels, I cannot bear the weight when I hve to hang them myself, so I am trying to teach myself to work on canvas. Boy, do I miss my pastels ! I think the canvasses have contributed to my "artists block", I don't enjoy using a brush half so much as picking up sticks of colour!

When are you coming to the UK? I do hope that the letter does the trick.:wave:

Alessandra Rosi
01-19-2006, 06:26 AM
Oh, WOW!! They are gorgeous.... I'm speachless!:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

01-19-2006, 11:06 AM
I use black Too!!!! Hooray!
Gosh, you have somehow given me "permision" to use photo reference for still life when the sun shines
Like you need permission for anything Jackie LOL But thanks anyway :p
Boy, do I miss my pastels ! I think the canvasses have contributed to my "artists block", I don't enjoy using a brush half so much as picking up sticks of colour!
I don't know about you but I'm out of my element with acrylic (at least not as comfortable in that arena) and that certainly takes away from my enjoyment. I look at an acrylic and think..." Gee, if this was a pastel it would be dab, dab, dot and it would be done!" I'm definitely spoiled by pastel and like you see the advantages of working with oil or acrylic but although I recognize the need my mind still puts up resistance when I actually get started. :D

As for when I'm coming over there....mid May until the end of June and looking so forward to it. :clap:

Alessandra thank you so much for the clalppies :D and your kind words! :wave:

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

01-19-2006, 03:53 PM
Diana, I was very surprised that you were not included as a contributor in the new book I just received from North Light, called something like "best of pastel", tho I think there is another bit in front of that...

There are loads of artists in there I have never heard of, and lots of them aren't as good as you. You obviously do not shout loud enough!

"As if I need permission" - well, it was just an expression. I guess it means, really, me giving MYSELF permission, because if it is OK for a pro like you, then it is OK for me too.

Do keep me posted about your UK trip,

01-19-2006, 04:27 PM
Is that the Canadian artists book? I got the application for that one and another one but didn't apply. I know....head hung down......One needs to pay more attention to these things. They are supposed to do another edition so I will be more on the all next time. LOL

Yes it would be nice if we could connect for lunch or at the least a wee visit. My workkshop in the southeast is the first on the adgenda so I will be down that for the third week of May then I may do a little tour of Cornwall and be back in the London area before flying up to Scotland. Your not going to be off at some workshop or on holidays in that two weeks are you?

Cheers, Dianna :wave:

01-19-2006, 06:10 PM
;) :)

I also find because I so often work in short time slots as they come available, that photos help tremendously...


01-19-2006, 07:10 PM
That makes perfect sense Meisie :D Mine would have to be that my studio is on the north side of the house and the sun for my photo set-ups on the south. :wink2:

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

01-20-2006, 04:19 PM
Mine are both south...working from life during the day is impossible, except for quick sketches and drawing. I'm thankful for cameras...and other people who take great pics and then share ;)


01-24-2006, 04:26 AM
So beautiful!!!
Do you use pencils?You really can keep your petals clear of each other!:)

01-24-2006, 06:02 AM
Hi Dianna


I love everything about your work Dianna, the composition, the overall harmony of colour, the play of light and shadow, the value and tone, form, everything is exquisite, but what I love most about your artwork is your ability to portray the texture and surface of differenct types of object. The way you can represent fine fabrics, chrome, the textrue of fruit, stainless steel, and glass with such realism basically amazes me. You are a true master of your chosen medium and I salute you.


01-24-2006, 10:50 AM
Hi Dianna!
Good to see your still at it.
The rose is beautiful.

01-24-2006, 01:06 PM
Meisie, you and I are both grateful to those that take and subsequently post wonderful photographs for our use. I prefer to take my own pictures but I run across so many beautiful ones on Wet Canvas that I just canít resist giving them a try especially when Iím really pinched the time and a deadline is looming. :eek:

Hello AvaniÖÖÖ nice to see you here. Yes I make use of pencils when it works for me but I really do try hard not to rely on anything other than the black and white pencils (which I use a lot). Their color range is so limited that itís rare to have enough varieties of one shade for me to switch to using them on a project like this. Thatís not to say there is no pencil work in here.

On this thread however, with the market scene, there is a great deal of pencil work.


I found out at that time just how dependent one can get upon their use and quickly destroying your faith in your ability to do the same thing with sticks. I recognized the potential bad habit forming and made a conscious effort to limit their use after that to supporting role. LOL :D

Hello Gus, nice to see hereÖ.. taking a break from your fire trucks and thank you so much for all your kind words. Iím so amazed at what you do that Iíll be looking at your next thread with just as much interest!! :p

Hello CochisaÖ. My goodness lady where have you been for so long? Nice to see you back again!! I feel privileged that you stopped byÖ See you elsewhere!! :wave:

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

01-25-2006, 02:52 AM
Stunning:clap: :clap: :clap:

01-25-2006, 10:39 AM
Thanks so much Gerry. I snuck a look at your profile........Ribbon crazy quilting.......a lady after my own heart but obviously with more time than me LOL ....I would love to see some close-up photos of your needlework!! Do PM me if you want to share a peek.

Thanks again, Cheers, Dianna

01-25-2006, 12:48 PM
Nice to be back, Dianna.
I look forward to this coming year...painting.
I've been staying right here at my studio, taking care of mundane things...
I'm so happy to see you're still 'home' here with WC!, and so many new artists to get to know and learn from, share with.