View Full Version : flowers and failures x 3
05-17-2011, 10:36 AM
I'm posting these just for C&C--I know they're bad! I have troubles with choosing colors, and I think I tend to go too dark overall with many of my paintings. Noted.
I also have a question about materials since some new brands and options have emerged of late. What do you all think are the best (softest?) pastel PENCILS? Especially when using velour, as in these 3 works, I have trouble getting the needed detail.
The tulip is on black velour, the other 2 on tan velour. The images come from the RIL: tulip from Crias, orchid from Anthony Carter, daisy from Stephie20. Thanks are due for the great images. Sizes are about 9x9 in.
The tulip on black failed because I couldn't get the whites light enough, I think, and because I painted too many of the water drops. It looks alive, and not in a "flora" way!! I used some fixative, thinking to layer more white, but it just darkened more--bad brand of fixative I think.
I realize the daisy is not like the ref, which I didn't intend, for I don't know how I'd get that much white going on. . . .
Thoughts? Thanks for looking.
orchid is a bit lighter IRL
I forgot to photograph the daisy before framing it, which I did reluctantly, having run out of time (third try) to paint a flower for a friend. I'll be doing another until I get it right! All comments greatly appreciated.
05-17-2011, 11:00 AM
I don't see any failures here they are very good although maybe not what you wanted colour wise I wait with interest to see what the more able people reply, you shouldn't be disappointed though!
05-17-2011, 12:24 PM
not a single one of these is even remotely bad! In fact i wish my good paintings came this well. I wouldnt worry so much about matching colors perfectly, the paintings are your representation of the subject, not so much a copy. Great job on these!
05-17-2011, 12:36 PM
Now for your third telling off!! You are totally wrong! These ARE good! They are good because you have a good eye, pay attention to the tonal differences and make the flowers your own - by not being a slave to the photographers colours!
Your flowers look great and deserve to be framed and hung!
You should probably test your theory of the velour making them darker by trying similar flowers on AS Colourfix Black...and you should try to avoid fixative as it's known to darken pastels....lastly....these are good...you should be happy you're such a good pastellist!:D :thumbsup:
05-17-2011, 01:12 PM
You are waaaaaaaay too critical. These are wonderful.
John Palmer Fine Art
05-17-2011, 01:48 PM
In my opinion Lisa, all of these are skilfully rendered and very beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the subtleties in the last two.
With regard to pastel pencils I have only used two brands F.C. Pitt pastel, which I use predominately on all supports including velour and don't have any issues with detail, although they are regarded as being quite hard. The other brand is Derwent which I now really like and use in conjunction with my Pitts, although I haven't used them on velour yet, I get the feeling they would perform well as they are softer than Pitts and may offer more possibilities for over layering for that reason.
05-17-2011, 02:29 PM
These are beautiful paintings, so frame them all!
I note your issues with not being able to get them light enough. I have had similar problems over the years. If you use black paper you have to get your highlights very light. Also if you use fixative, that will darken your work as well. Remember to make sure your lighten your highlights after spraying with fixative. Using a very soft pastel at the finish to lighten your whites works for me.
05-17-2011, 02:56 PM
You definitely are waaaaaay too hard on yourself. Beautiful work, that daisy is just fantastic. The only thing you said that I agree with is you put too many water droplets on the tulip. So, just take out the extras. That's the beauty of pastel, it is so forgiving. The tulip is georgous, and with just a couple of water droplets, it is absolutely perfect! Georgous work, and yeah! to not being a slave to the photo!
05-17-2011, 03:20 PM
I agree with all the others, these are all beauties, Lisa! I find it's helpful to use very pale tints that read as white whenever possible and keep the pure white to a minimum. The palest of pinks would look like white on your tulip because of the light bouncing around and the palest yellow would look like a sunlit white on the daisy. Your paintings are lovely - I'm just trying to give you an excuse to buy more pastels if you need them!
05-17-2011, 06:02 PM
These are very, very nice! They are not even close to "bad"! I would be happy to do one flower painting this good in my life, for heaven's sake!
Some thoughts on your comments. Pastel pencils are hard and velour is soft. Since it is soft it is probably the most difficult surface to get details and vibrant color on. You could try another surface as an experiment. If using velour, I would experiment with white rather than a color (especially black), especially if the subject has white in it, or very bright intense color.
All fixative - even the best ones - will darken and dull the colors. If you need to use fixative, be prepared to go back in with your lights and brightest colors for one more layer!
05-17-2011, 06:45 PM
I'm not seeing any failure here, no way, these are all beautiful. You're a very skilled artist and all three paintings are way better then the photo's by a long shot. The daisy especially, I love seeing artwork framed.
05-17-2011, 06:50 PM
I think all of these are really lovely. I know from experience that it is difficult to get nice vibrant color on black velour as I've tried. But still I think the tulip beautiful even if a little understated.
05-18-2011, 08:18 AM
thanks Trevor, Joni, Deirdre, Karen--you are much too kind!! I feel my lack of any structured color theory training bites me sometimes.
John--I'm traveling 4 hours to another destination near a Blick's store this weekend and will take your recommendations with me--thanks much!!
Vivien and Don--I tried that "spray and then add highlights" technique to get better white saturation but it didn't work, I think because I have some crappy fixative instead of Fixatif.
Donna--Thanks for the tip; I do tend to go right for the white sticks too often I think.
Ally, Don, Barbara and RainySea--thanks for posting; you help my cofidence and encourage me to keep trying new things.
Don--I've made this "mistake" before, choosing a darker velour for a light subject, but wanted to try for that dramatic effect that some pastelists here seem to do by magic. I may try the tulip again--it didn't take long.
Thanks all. I've beaten my slump and will keep the easel busy.
05-18-2011, 11:20 AM
Wonderful, realistic, the color and drawn perfect
I'd be very happy to be able to do some as good as these. I wasn't aware that velour came in a white colour. Have to get me some of that.
05-18-2011, 02:59 PM
I do not see a failure anywhere.
My favorite is the daisy.
Donna's suggestion to use other lighter colors than pure white is a good one. Keep in mind that fixative tends to darken the colors
05-18-2011, 05:03 PM
What is the problem with these. I would be thrillled to say they were mine. From what you were saying I thought they were gouing to be terrible. Far from it. Raindrops brilliant and love the daisy. Keep them coming
05-18-2011, 07:25 PM
There all just beautiful. Love your work.........Lenore
05-18-2011, 11:23 PM
mij/jim (I love your palindrome WC name!)--the second and third are on tan velour, but indeed you can get white. I can't remember who I ordered it from, but I have to order all of my pastel papers online, or drive 4 hours for about a 30% or less selection of what I see mentioned here in WC. I still like to hit a store when I have the chance, though.
Adriana, JennyD and my dear friend Lenore--thanks so much for looking and commenting. . . and inspiring me to continue.
05-19-2011, 12:39 AM
There's nothing "bad" here! Agreed that there may be a few too many water droplets on the tulip, but as was mentioned-quite easy to fix. Other than that-I'd love to see anything this "bad" on my easel!
mij/jim (I love your palindrome WC name!)--the second and third are on tan velour, but indeed you can get white.
You have promted me to look at the Velour selection pad from Hahnemule I bought awhile back - would you believe it has two sheets of white in it? :o
I can't remember who I ordered it from, but I have to order all of my pastel papers online,
We do that as well. My wife is disabled and I don't rellish 'going into town' so online postal buying is a very clickable YES! from here :thumbsup:
I still like to hit a store when I have the chance, though.
Don't we all? :wink2:
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