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Fine Art -- ACEO Lemons Still Life

ACEO Lemons is on black Colourfix sanded paper, done with only five sticks of color Conte crayons. They're hard pastels. I discovered they do count as hard pastels when I was hanging out in the pastels forum on WetCanvas, where they got recommended as a more lightfast alternative to Sanford NuPastels. The challenge was to do one of several references entirely with five colors. Red, blue, yellow and the other two sticks (or pans) of your choice. Black and white counted as choices.

So I used the blue-violet in the small Conte set along with white for my extra sticks. I blended ferociously and did a bunch of layers, spread this out in stages. If you want to see the earlier stages, they're under an LJ cut.

The five colors I used with the black Colourfix ACEO blank behind them to make the white show up.

Loose white underpainting on black Colourfix sanded pastel paper.

Blue and yellow used to block in local color on the checked blue cloth and lemons.

Red brought in for initial mixtures, some refining with blue and yellow.

Blue-violet brought in to refine the cloth and darks, mute the red areas, all five colors used and significantly more mixing. It was nearly done at this point. I'll repost the final one for comparison in order:

Fixative darkened it after some more refining and detailing, so I let the fixative dry and applied more yellow and white to the strongest highlights, which gave it more value contrast overall. Much more mixing and tweaking in the muted areas where warm reflected light is hitting shadowed cloth, so the colors are bouncing around the entire piece and not just three lemons in a monochrome blue cloth.

I enjoyed this project immensely and may try it again with the same or a different reference and different pastels. These weren't soft enough to get as many layers as I wanted, but it was still grand to get such blazing colors into a painting. I was way too used to seeking literal color, but what I love to see in pastels is those bright almost prismatic ones where shadows turn brilliant blue-violet and lights have pinks and blues and oranges in them, where all the colors are more intense than life. I'm working in that direction on some of my other pastel paintings too, the ACEOs let me try things before applying them to larger projects.

Mirrored from my artsomofo post.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 9th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
Thank you! The artist who started the challenge just posted another reference too -- white horses. I've had problems with horses in the past, but if I can do these in primaries and just two other sticks it would be awesome.

Especially if my two other sticks are just different values of blue, one real light and the other darker or between them.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 10th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
Oooh neat challenge! If you're working on white you don't even need white -- just primaries and two more colors. I can't wait to see it! Oil pencils are a bit more transparent and so rich when layered!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


2013 Nano Winner
Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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