After a recent trip to see the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, I felt totally inspired to replicate (in my own way, of course) what I saw. 

I started by cropping in some of photos I took. I used UArt paper with a watercolor underpainting. 

I paint the watercolor in stages, slowly building up the shapes according to values and local color. 

The next step is adding pastel. I look for the lightest value shapes and add cool and warm hues of pastel in that light value. Warms where the sun is hitting and cools in the shadow. I then do the same for the mid value and then the darker values. I am conscious of not trying to paint a flower, I am only painting shapes of light, medium and dark values and assigning a color temperature to it. 

I left the leaf shapes pretty abstract and minimal, relying on the watercolor for texture.  By just adding pastel in the negative spaces between the leaves, it made an interesting pattern. 

I am so conscious of not overworking a painting. Better to leave things a little underdone. It is so easy to ruin the freshness and spontaneity by fussing with it. So, I have to literally yell at myself to put the pastels down!

Here’s another progression shot of my painting, Sunlit Flowers.

progression Sunlit Flowers

Sunlit Flowers 9 x 12 pastel

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