Forsythia and Copper Canister, work in progress.
February 25, 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: floral, Painting, pastel, Still life | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Forsythia and Copper Canister, pastel on Wallis paper, by Jeffrey Smith

Forsythia and Copper Canister, pastel on Wallis paper, by Jeffrey Smith

Today I thought it would be great to have another dose of spring.  I have loved forsythia since I was a kid.  I have some great memories of a forsythia bush that we had in our backyard that you could actually crawl inside of.  It was like being surrounded by sunshine!

This is a work in progress shot of a pastel still life that I started today.  I began with a 18×24″ sheet of museum grade Wallis paper mounted on to a sheet of 4 ply mat board.  I used a large round bistel brush and toned the paper with a very, very thin wash of oil paint.  If you are going to use oil paint as an underpainting, it is important to use a good quality thinner, I use Gamsol by Gamblin. Another must for oil underpainting sucess is to keep the oil paint thin.  It should look and feel a little like tea.  Think watercolor as you are painting.  Let the white of the paper show through for anything white in your set-up

Once the paint had dried, which took very little time because of all the Gamsol, I blocked  in the pastel painting with Nupastels and Rembrants.  Jumping in with pastels, I did a couple rounds just looking at the big pattern of shapes and values to refine the image left by the oil underpainting.  I always like to start with the darks and build up to the lights.


4 Comments so far
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Have you ever used oil pastels as your underpainting, blending with thinner? I really like this just as it is. Love the shimmering quality of the colours.

Comment by anitamurphy

Thank you for your comments on the painting! I’ve never tried using oil pastels as an underpainting. It sounds like it could be great fun though.

Comment by jeffreysmithart

Your forsythia is in bloom already? I had a beautiful forsythia at my house in Oklahoma and I sure miss it and all of the other flowering bushes. I’m left here in Colorado to admire the gorgeous foothills views and desert-like landscape. A different appreciation.

Comment by Alyson B. Stanfield

These are from my florist. I don’t think I could make it through the winter without a trip to the flower shop every now and then for a dose of spring! Yesterday in Minnesota, we got dumped on with 10 inches of snow, and an overnight low of minus 3.

Comment by jeffreysmithart

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