Tag Archives: still life

Limited Palette: Highlights added, plum forms further refined, pattern on bowl quietly indicated, bowl's cast shadow enhanced, single stem added. And after 35 mins, it's done! Gail Sibley, "Backyard Plums, Terry Ludwig pastels on UArt 400 grit paper, 6 x 6 in

Push Your Creativity with the Restriction of a Limited Palette

I was on a deadline today – a post was due to be published! I wanted to show you a progression through one of my paintings. Problem was, I didn’t have anything to share. So I needed to get creative quickly. I set a timer and chose a limited palette by using a starter set. I decided on Terry Ludwig’s Best Loved Basics because I knew it contained a deep purple and I was going to need it since I’d be painting plums. Once I got started though I wondered how in the world it would be successful – I was missing colours I felt I needed!! But I didn’t have time to waffle about so I got stuck in and embraced the restriction of the limited palette. Have a look!

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Casey Klahn, 5 Green Roses. The Ark of Movement, 2014, pastel, oil stick, & graphite, 10 3/4 x 10 1/4 in

Casey Klahn: The Still Life Series

Have I got a treat for you!! I’ve been a huge fan of Casey Klahn’s work for some time now so I’m thrilled to have Casey here to guest blog about his new still life series. I’ve been watching him post fabulous painting after fabulous painting of these still life images on various Facebook art groups and I became curious – What was his inspiration? What’s driving him to create so many? What motivates him to keep going?

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Painting dried roses – step-by-step

Pastel of Dried Roses

My plan for this post was to show a step-by-step progression of my pastel of dried roses in a vase. The roses were a gift from my honey for my birthday in August but it wasn’t until well into September that I painted them. They were beautiful when fresh and still beautiful once they had dried.

When it came time to put this blog post together I realized that, silly me, I had only videoed the process ie I’d taken no stills. I also hadn’t taken a photo of the set-up. Argh. Since I had my heart set on sharing this pastel and since I couldn’t think of an alternative, I decided to go through the videos and take a few screen shots. This I did. The only thing is, because the camera isn’t facing the pastel straight on, the photos are slightly skewed and not as clear as I’d like them to be. Nevertheless, I think you’ll get the picture.

First off, here’s the final piece (taken with my camera not the camcorder).

 

Gail Sibley, "Still Beautiful," pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in - a pastel of dried roses in a vase

Gail Sibley, “Still Beautiful,” pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.

Starting at the beginning….

1. Thumbnail of dried roses done with biro, 3 x 1 1/2 in. Pretty sketchy but still showing areas of three values.

1. Thumbnail of dried roses done with biro, 3 x 1 1/2 in. Pretty sketchy but still showing areas of three values.

 

2. Charcoal sketch complete of the dried roses in the vase.

2. Charcoal sketch completed of the dried roses in the vase.

 

3. Beginning to apply pastel

3. Beginning to apply pastel. Massing in the main shapes.

 

4. First layer of pastel lightly applied and then rubbed with a paper towel to create an 'underpainting'. This way, I get rid of a lot of the white of the paper.

4. First layer of pastel lightly applied and then rubbed with a paper towel to create an ‘underpainting’. This way, I get rid of a lot of the white of the paper.

 

5. Beginning to re-state the original pastel colours - creating a more saturated base to work over. You can see this particularly in the flowers and leaves of the dried roses.

5. Beginning to re-state the original pastel colours – creating a more saturated base to work over. You can see this particularly in the flowers and leaves of the dried roses.

 

6. Starting to add more pastel and delineate the shapes, particularly the flower heads.

6. Starting to add more pastel and delineate the shapes, particularly the flower heads.

 

7. Beginning to describe the leaves and the spaces between.

7. Beginning to describe the leaves and the spaces between.

 

8. Background worked on, dried roses evident (flower heads, leaves, stems), vase made visible. Close to finishing.

8. Background worked on, dried roses evident (flower heads, leaves, stems), vase made visible. Close to finishing.

 

Gail Sibley, "Still Beautiful," pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in - a pastel of dried roses in a vase

Gail Sibley, “Still Beautiful,” pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in. Available unframed $825

 

Here are a few close-ups of the finished pastel:

Gail Sibley, "Still Beautiful," pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in - detail of dried roses

Gail Sibley, “Still Beautiful,” pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in – detail of the pink roses and leaves. Pretty much life size

 

Gail Sibley, "Still Beautiful," pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in - detail #2. Pretty much life size dried roses

Gail Sibley, “Still Beautiful,” pastel on Wallis paper, 17 1/2 x 9 1/4 in – detail of the red dried roses. Pretty much life size

 

And here are the Great American pastels I used:

Great American pastels right after finishing.

Great American pastels right after finishing.

Great American pastels I used but now all cleaned up. Anyone notice anything??

Great American pastels I used but now all cleaned up. Anyone notice anything?? – Have a look at the previous image

Hope that was helpful. I’d love to hear any feedback!

 

Demo at Opus!!

I also wanted to tell you about a demo I am doing in December. It’s going to be at Opus Art Supplies here in Victoria on Sunday 7th December, 11am-1pm. It’s called “Colourful Still Life in Pastel” and I’ll be demoing a small pastel with a limited palette using Schminke’s box set of 20 pastels. Click here to learn more.

I’m prrrreeeetttty excited to be doing this. It’s my first time demoing with Opus. It’s free but you’ll need to register in advance by calling them at 250 386 8133 or going into the store.

 

And thaaaaaaat’s it for this time. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

Until next week,

~ Gail

 

PS. If you looked closely at both photos showing the pastels I used, you will have noticed I forgot to include the darkest pastel in my cleaned up photo. Mea culpe.

PPS. Here’s a photo of the roses in my bedroom when they were fresh!

Fresh roses rather than dried roses!

Fresh roses!

PPPS. The Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago – 9 November 1989!! Do you remember when that happened? I do. I also remember when I was in Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie 32 years ago, looking over at the grim buildings in East Germany and imagining the people walking on the other side of the wall. Wow – what a change when the wall came down. I can hardly believe it’s been 25 years ….

The Berlin Wall comesdown http://youtu.be/zmRPP2WXX0U

Click to watch

Then go check out this amazing art installation!!

 

A limited palette proves a challenge in this pastel painting video

 

I recently uploaded another pastel painting video to YouTube. In it, I used a limited palette of eight Schminke soft pastels on Wallis paper. Here’s the finished piece:

 

Gail Sibley, "Red Pepper and Two Garlic Cloves," Schminke pastels on Wallis paper, 6 x 6 in

Gail Sibley, “Red Pepper and Two Garlic Cloves,” Schminke soft pastels on Wallis paper, 6 x 6 in

 

And here’s the video showing the process start to finish – just click on the image:

 

YouTube video showing the painting process speeded up

YouTube video showing the pastel painting process sped up

 

Here are a couple of other images. First the quick black and white thumbnail sketch I did initially to understand the subject and values:

 

Thumbnail sketch of red pepper and garlic cloves

Thumbnail sketch of red pepper and garlic cloves, about 1.5 x 1.5 in

 

Here’s the set-up. I work from life and by doing so can see so much more colour and many more value shifts than are available in a photo but at least it gives you a sense of the subject.

 

Photo of red pepper and garlic cloves set-up

Photo of red pepper and garlic cloves on green paper

 

Just for fun, let’s compare the photo in black and white with the finished pastel painting shown below in black and white.

 

Photo in black and white of the red pepper and cloves

Photo in black and white of the red pepper and cloves

The pastel painting in black and white

The pastel painting in black and white

I can see where I could have deepened the values but when I look at the colour version of the pastel painting, I’m happy with the way it turned out. That’s artistic license in action!

 

I would really love to hear your comments on the video. Was what I had to say useful? Is there something you’d like me to talk about in future videos? Please help me to help you! Please comment on the blog post or after the YouTube video.

 

Thanks for reading and watching 🙂

 

Pastel on!!

Gail