Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pastel Painting: Dandelions in Sunset

 Using paper towel for underpainting.

"Dandelions in sunset" 17 x 17 cm original pastel painting.

Available on Etsy

I woke up to this scene below this morning! Snow everywhere. It looks nice yes but it is freezing. So I planned to paint something warm and summery. Also NO REFERENCE PHOTO today. I always use one or more reference photos for a painting. I decided to challenge myself so we will see how it goes. 

My front yard this morning!!

I will talk about paper towel underpainting in this post. I made my rough sketch and blocked in the initial colors as below. I twisted a piece of paper towel and rubbed the pastel in with it. Rubbing the initial block in with a paper towel creates a light and dreamy underpainting with soft edges. This I like very much. It takes away the excess pastel so the paper texture is not affected. You can never worry about filling up the tooth of the paper with this method. One downside is that  it creates a lot of pastel dust. So be careful when using this method. You will have to blow on the paper to get rid of the pastel dust. So you must take the paper outside. You should never blow on a pastel dust indoors. Also for each color make sure to use a clean side of the twisted paper. Otherwise the underpainting gets muddy.

Initial block in rubbed in with a twisted piece of paper towel.
Then I reinforced the darks in trees and I darkened the foreground a bit more as below. Again I rubbed it in with a twisted paper towel. This is the second layer of the underpainting.

Second layer of underpainting.

Then I continued with the painting as usual and stopped when I had below painting. I took a break and came back to evaluate what I had.

One step before final painting.

After the break, I didn't like the middle ground. It makes a bluish purple band across the paper and there is no interest in it. I should have kept this part way smaller. So I decided to push the foreground up a little bit more. I had to add more dandelions to accomplish that. And below is the final painting. This painting took me 2 hours and another half and hour for corrections. I hope you like it!

"Dandelions in sunset" 17 x 17 cm original pastel painting.

Available on Etsy

"Dandelions in Sunset" in a mock frame.

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