Floating Flowers

More flowers! Just happen to be in a flowery mood. Must be the sunny weather that brings out bright vivid colours. Or could be this muggy weather that makes me want to imagine positive things like pretty flowers to make me forget how unpleasant this all is!

It was also time for me to experiment again. I wanted to try something different with my dry pastel sticks. They bring out beautiful results but come out delicate and smudge easily even with a fixative spray. And they are quite messy and dusty to work with. So what happens if I use a bit of water or even matte medium normally used for painting?

As water and matte medium help spread the pigments, I didn’t have to use as much pastel. I also chose to use the slow-drying version of the medium so the colours can spread further and the consistency can be better controlled. Also, the various colours can be blended easily.

It was quite a challenge getting the light and shadow correct as I tend to paint stuff flat and lack dimension Added opposite colours like green on red to paint the shadows.

The drawback of using liquid like water or gel on pastels is that the colours darken somewhat and don’t turn out as bright as when you don’t use any. For one thing, I was disappointed with the light pink turning dark. But perhaps next time use less colour? Maybe blend with white. For the green and orange flowers, I ended up adding some yellow to bring the vividness out again.

And here is the whole picture. The composition could be better but at this stage I was just experimenting and seeing what would happen with the various colours when water and medium are combined with the pastels.

Overall, I enjoyed the experiment, and I like how these vivid colours can be used to look like a proper painting. And you have less risk of the smudging. But be prepared that the colours will darken quite a bit. I might even try to see what happens if I coat the paper firstly with gesso.

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