Soft Pastels – Poppies

This week I had a little play with some soft pastels I found in the cupboard.

I began working on the background, then played around with some mid level elements and finally put in my foreground, much as I would with watercolour…

After I’d got some basic colour down I sprayed it with some fixative (you can still see a drip on the picture which hadn’t dried when I photographed it.)

Then I added more forms to my background and then put in the basics of my poppies…

Finally I worked on refining my shapes, pushing my hard edges and pushing the contrast a bit harder too. This was tricky with this set of pastels as there were only two dark colours in the whole set – brown and black. So I used these along with some blue and purple (which were, unfortunately, quite bright) to try to make some darker hues.

Here is how this adventure turned out…

I quite like the foreground elements of this picture. I think the medium forces me to be more impressionistic and loose in a natural way. It might be worth doing some more pastel drawings to develop this a bit more. I really really enjoyed doing it, mainly because it was SO messy!!! I had to keep dashing to the bathroom to wash my hands, making the sink in there look quite multicoloured! It was really good fun to do. However, looking back, the background could have done with a little more interest and colour variation. I will have to work on a way to add some more marginal interest to my backgrounds without reducing the focus on on my foreground.

12 thoughts on “Soft Pastels – Poppies

  1. It usually means she can’t appreciate those contrasts unless they’re pointed out. It’s less problematic with traffic lights because of their sequencing, but a lot of it is the old story — you see what you expect to see unless it’s likely to be hazardous. Her condition is compounded because she’s monocular due to a life saving op, but it doesn’t affect her driving, thank goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Providing one isn’t green-red colour blind (as my partner Emily is) red poppies are unmissable and so vibrant a contrast, as you’ve managed to capture here. Yet I have to be insistent with pointing poppies and their ilk out to Emily before they suddenly ‘ping’ into her visual consciousness. Fantastic evocation, Jo!

    Liked by 2 people

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