Monday, August 9, 2010

curly dock

liatris, goldenrod & curly dock in the field

The curly dock is the dark dry brown "bottlebrush" in the fields in August.  This image is from last year's autumn paintings; this year we are not seeing the goldenrod fully flaming yellow yet.  Maybe we will in another two weeks.

So almost a year later, I am still working in this format:  8x10" or 10x8" views from the fields and treelines.  This image, like the others, is done on a printmaking paper, Stonehenge or Rives BFK.  (For larger pastel painting especially, a favorite paper is 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico, hot-press [smooth, not so much textured] watercolor paper.)  I use several finely sprayed layers of fixative, even on the small works.  I make my own fixative sometimes, and I also like to use Weber Blue Label fixative.  The layering colors are mostly soft pastel, with some charcoal and lead and graphite pencil marks.  The pastels I most often use are the soft, buttery ones from Sennelier and Schminke, and the slightly harder kaolin-based ones from Rembrandt and Winser Newton.  I use other pastels sometimes, but these are my "regulars."

Many years ago I would sometimes use touches of oil pastel, for nubby texture, in combination with the soft pastels, but I have some concern for the non-drying aspect of the mineral oil in oil pastels.  Will there be holes eaten into the paper where the nubby texture marks used to be?  Will the nubby texture marks become darker and darker?  Still, if a painting's surface changes over the years, it is still the same painting, yes?  The same painting with, maybe, more dark curly dock than it had earlier!

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