This painting of my stepfather was started last Winter as a simple monochromatic figurative study in casein. It was cast aside for other projects until recently being resurrected and developed further with soft pastel.

The color scheme was inspired by the lovely cool greens and fiery orange hues of the spotted jewelweed that grows prolifically in our area. The support was cold pressed illustration board with a heavy coat of storm blue Colourfix pastel primer. The underpainting was done with light washes of white and raw umber casein over a loose, gestural charcoal drawing. I felt I had captured a good likeness of Carl in the drawing through stance alone. So while I didn’t have much of a plan for completing the piece, I knew that I wanted to maintain the character of that stance.

"Carl Standing with Beer" 20″ x 10″ Casein and Pastel

“Carl Standing with Beer”
20″ x 10″ Casein and Pastel

After it sat untouched for a few months, I got around to introducing color. I scrubbed the pastel pigments into the surface with rubbing alcohol using relatively large brushes. Subsequent layers of pastel were blended with firm silicone Colourshapers. As I reached a point where I needed tighter details, I began mixing paint from pastel pigments and Sennelier egg tempera medium, applied with small brushes.

This entry was originally posted September 17, 2013 on the Paper Bird Studio & Design website.