Another "Wild" Night (Painting Wildflowers)

"Pretty Wild" 9 x 12 Pastel (oil and chalk) on paper
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I'm finding it quite therapeutic to paint random scenes from nature these days (in my usual messy fashion of course). What turned me off to a lot of these types of scenes initially was that I didn't want to get caught up in all of that detail... so many leaves, branches, petals, etc! I've since become comfortable focusing on emphasizing just a few details, and making the paintings mostly about the texture, patterns, shapes, and colors.

It's important to work the whole painting at once, rather than get sucked into making each area perfect before moving on to the next. I started this one with the oil pastels, using dark blue and purple to map out the main shapes for the branches and larger flowers, and then adding in the overall patterns of flowers and leaves. I tried to detail a few leaves or flowers, just to bring them into focus so the eye could identify them (left brained of me, I know).

Once I had the darker colors blocked in with oil pastel, I began to add chalk-- sparingly this time, so the lights of the paper could show through (I'm getting a little better with this aspect of mixing oil and chalk so I can save a few more of the lights).

I used a reference photo of some more flowers at the Grand Tradition in Fallbrook, CA. My favorite thing about this painting was actually the way the vertical lines of the textured paper show through-- for some reason, the whole effect reminds me of my favorite little hippie ring I wore in high school, which was white with a bunch of blue and pink flowers and came from a thrift shop. It's funny how those visual memories stay with you and come out later in your work...

Click here to see more oil and chalk pastel paintings:

Or, click here to see more floral inspired work:


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