"Champagne for Everyone!" 20x17" Pastel ©Brenda Boylan
Detail of "Champagne for Everyone!" (click to enlarge)
Last weekend (The Trilogy Event) is still fermenting in my mind as one of the highlights of the winter season and I wanted to post the final image of what I painted. Of course, I began and "finished" this piece in one hour, but in reality, pieces created in quick draws usually need some final tweaking. So it spent a little bit of time in the studio and here is the finished piece. I usually don't share much about my painting method, but this time around I think I'll share with you how I do what I do. After all, isn't that why people read blogs? For information? Oh yeah.
I use the sides of my pastel sticks a lot! That way, the pastel makes a wide brush of color as well I have more control applying pressure on the sanded surface, giving me endless ways to make a mark. I save the edges of the pastels for the expressive mark making and final details. Because this bar scene has a lot of atmosphere, I wanted to capture that haze of the sunlight streaming in. I scumbled a bright yellow pastel in the window area and followed over with a bright light blue of the same value. Also, I carried out the blue throughout the painting to give it a light filled feeling. You can see that the source of light throughout the scene is cool, and the interior is very warm with burgundy and mauve. Because of that, I used complimentary colors to my benefit. I pushed the background area (shutters, shelves, etc) by applying, with light pressure, a green pastel that was slightly lighter in value. This "grayed" out the shutters helping them to recede as well as helping push the bolder colors forward. Look closely at the area in the lower left of the detail pic. You can see the green over the dark burgundy. This green helped support and pull together the other greens throughout the painting.
As for the champagne flutes, they are just bits of color....yellow, blue, pink and purple. The highlights on the champagne flutes make them sparkle. Notice I didn't finish them off like a picture perfect photo? That would be a shame because I believe it takes two people to finish a painting: The artist and the viewer. That way you get to wonder about the scene and complete the image, helping you to engage.
OK, that's it for my artistic dialogue. Hope you enjoy this piece.