Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Remembering" a new pastel painting from start to finish

Sometimes it takes me hours to decide on my next painting.  I have painted this model before and enjoyed the process and results. I am very particular with my substrates, paints and pastels and always want to offer quality archival works.  I chose a 16" x 12" Colourfix panel and sketched her in place. I  began with the face as this will be my focal point and set the mood and color palette.  I did not plan on these hues in her skin color, but for one reason or another they seemed to be working, so I just went with it.  This is the initial block in and design.

I was happy with the piece thus far, but decided a few changes were in order.  I worked on her dress and changed the background and began defining her arms and couch and some details on the pillows.

I changed the background from two paintings to one long piece.  I wanted the pillow behind her to looked fluffed up and fun which I created from my imagination.  The red foreground pillow was punched in to set the tone on the couch. I always take photos as I move along in a painting and definitely upload them the next morning to compare how the painting is progressing.  This has always proven very helpful.  Sometimes I wish I hadn't touched the painting in certain areas, and sometimes I see how much better it is for my due diligence.  The former is tortuous - the latter  a sigh of relief.   

I worked on her pretty face and softened her features.  You can see I painted the wine glass and her diamond bracelet.  I re-worked the background, which is never my favorite part of a painting.  I really just like painting eyes, noses and mouths....and hands!  I applied my unique strokes on her dress with a variety of blues and purples and some reds.  Looking at a close up of her face allowed me to see any features that might need more work.  A good painter knows when to stop!  As a perfectionist, I often want to make it better - or perfect - and I have to be careful not to overwork a painting or ruin it in the process.

"Remembering" pastel, 16" x 12"

I did spend considerable time on her dress, her hands and the couch to complete the painting...and yes, I created that fluff around the pillow to bring  the couch color into that area.  I am happy with the painting and decide she is finished!  

"Remembering" was just juried into the Connecticut Pastel Society 21st Annual Renaissance in Pastel, 2014 juried exhibition.  
There were 371 entries and 94 paintings were selected for this show.  
The exhibition will be held at:

The Slater Museum
108 Crescent Street, Norwich, CT
  October 8 - November 9, 2014

Artists reception:  October 19th
2 - 4 pm

This is the framing I chose to complement the painting!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression of this painting.  Please leave me your comments and feel free to peruse
my website and new works!

Thank you!  Blessings,

September McGee

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Elected Member Allied Artists, NY