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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Memories of Home

While preparing to create a commissioned painting for my client, I visited the garden, looked at the client's photos, took photos of my own, and did on-site color studies. Continuing to work in the garden would have been my first choice, but the weather had turned cool and the flowers were long gone. The gardener had already cut many plants back, and she kindly took me around to identify what was where.

Back in the studio, it was time to do some designing: a painting is not just a copy of a photo. It was important to use the reference materials to capture the feeling of the garden as well as the view. In order to do justice to the garden, I decided to down play the view of the river and emphasize the sweep of flowers. There were also considerations such as the type of paper to use, the size it was going to be, and whether it would be horizontal or vertical.

Garden sketch

The final sketch was done on a piece of white pastel paper that has a texture like sandpaper.  The grit of the sanded paper allowed me to add many layers of pastel. For this project I decided to do a watercolor wash to reduce the stark white of the paper.

Watercolor underpainting

When the watercolor dried, it was time to add the pastel!

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