Hi! It's Nancy Curry back on the blog. Last time I was here it was snowy and I was obsessed with b/w hearts, but now I've moved on to channeling the spring that is trying desperately to come. I do a lot of floral paintings in several mediums and have taught floral painting a few times. I get a lot of nervousness from people due to the wonky nature of flowers. They get caught up in trajectory, perspective, shadows, etc. I've been trying to come up with something that would ease them into creating so they could enjoy it. That's where the seed of this process came from.
While I totally enjoy the crispness and beautiful imagery that stencil use allows, I sometimes like to push the envelope to enjoy a more painterly outcome. Sure, you can use paint through the stencil for a perfect effect, but I really enjoy having an under layer of media that is just a guide that I can use or veer off on my own to create a painting. Using soft pastel as the media base allows me to lose that crispness you would have with a painted underlayer, while mapping a guide for painterly strokes, mark-making, and even some spontaneity. Along the way, I discovered the mixture of the softer, paint strokes with the harsher pastel strokes really gives me definition. I'm sure I'll discover more as I journey. For now, enjoy my recent meanderings.
Pictured above are most of the materials I used in the video. I hadn't planned to splatter so the white and black acrylic are not in the picture. Soft pastels are readily available. I purchased these from Amazon during the pandemic. The watercolor paper was a brand called Fluid that comes in a block and the Liquitex products are also readily available online or in big box or art stores.
As mentioned above, I added some spontaneity to the showcase video with the splatter and the thicker application of paint. Below you will see the end result from that video. The one below was done before filming with the same colors but heavier use of the clear gesso in the petals so the colors are deeper and more vibrant. Both were made with Peony Blooms by Wendy Brightbill. As you can see, your options produce varying results.
|From the video: splatter & layered paint|
|Earlier piece with more clear gesso and green variations.|
I played around with some different stencils while I was familiarizing myself with this technique. Two of my floral favorites are below. Jessica Sporn created the "Feeling Groovy" set for StencilClub members and the stencil I used was the 9" x 12" pictured here. This piece was almost exclusively done with clear gesso. Club members can back order club stencils. These are definitely keepers. They worked well for this technique, but I also love them with alcohol inks.
I also enjoyed playing with Wendy Brightbill's Bouquet Greenery. There's a lot of negative space to work with so it made the process a little slower filling in the background, but I loved the vast pinkness of it.
This has definitely been an interesting technique with varying results. I can't wait to play more and see what else will play nicely with the soft pastels. I sealed all of them with Krylon UV Archival satin (personal choice) and am pleased with the final results. Thanks for following along with me. I love to take you all on adventures. As always, I am happy to be here and certainly hope you'll continue to journey with me here and on my social media. This page has links to it all. I'll see you all soon!!!!