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Monday, November 18, 2013

Painting for the Holidays

As the holidays fast approach, I have always found that handmade gifts hold a special significance, especially if it comes from the heart.  Sure, an iPad would be great, but since I never really grew up, and I like to play and craft, and sew, and quilt, and paint, and and and ... well, that's what I start to think about once November kicks in.  I probably should start sooner, but November is about the time I really start thinking about what I want to give my family for Christmas.



For the grown up members of my family, I enjoy giving paintings.  Oil or Pastel.  Lately, I've been having a grand-ol time in my studio painting in pastel, and even approaching a subject that I have not painted much of in the past - flowers.



Today, I painted two 5x7 pastels of Pansies.  My goal is not to copy detail for detail the pansies so that they look like a photograph.  If I wanted to do that, I would take the photo and be done with it.  No, I want my paintings to look like paintings, so I paint impressionistically with a hint of detail here and there.



I started with a piece of 5x7 pastel paper by Sennelier.  I cut the paper to the size I wanted.  Then I put down a rough sketch in charcoal.



Next, I just laid in some color.  Not interested in detail.  Just having fun.



Here, I laid in a little more detail.  Don't feel like you have to copy your reference detail-for-detail.  The goal here is just to have fun!  Put down believable information in your signature style.



Painting is progressing.



And this is my finished painting.  Notice how I added color washes to the bottom to give the impression of other pansies existing in the foliage.



Here is painting #2 I did today as well.



After I'm done, I give the pastel a little smack on the back and blow lightly to remove any excess pastel dust, then I wash my hands, and place it on foam board, taping the corners just enough to hold it in place, and then place a mat over the painting.  Slide it into the clear sleeve, and wah-lah!  I have one painting completely done and matted and ready for gift giving.

Hope you enjoyed my pastel workshop today!




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