(I wasn't exactly ready to leap off the nearest high building, but I was certainly whining enough that many closest to me probably wished I would.)
Using the advice that many of you shared, and with a push by Angela at Graham Gallery in Hastings, I switched gears and played with something new this week. Angela has asked me to participate in the American Red Cross Mid-Rivers Chapter Annual Fundraiser. Called Red Night 2009, it's an amazing evening of fine dining, silent auction and a production of Steel Magnolias by 7th Stage Productions.
Those of us donating work for the auction were asked to use - you guessed it - red as the common theme for our art pieces, which certainly fits the bill for trying something new. I've got red pastel sticks that are a year old and in pristine condition!
I'm letting you in on a sneak preview of the painting I'm donating, and I'll even show you how I did it for no extra charge. Heckuvadeal.
I have Fiestaware dinner ware, and I love their bright, rich colors, so what better item to paint than my red cup and saucer. I started on Art Spectrum sanded pastel paper in a soft umber color. Using vine charcoal I drew out the main shapes as you can plainly see. Since I knew that the strongest color in this piece would be red, I decided to kick it up a bit and make the shadow areas a cool dark green. To do this without creating a giant mud pile, I layed down the green and then washed it with rubbing alcohol. This melts the pastel into the paper, keeping the area dark but thin so light can still reflect through the pastel pigment. It also leaves the grit of the paper for further layers of pastel if I decide to add any, which I always do. (I can't believe I used blue tape. It's not very sticky, which is a real plus, but yuck! the color is so intrusive!)
The light in this piece is warm, so a light layer of dull warm yellow was layed down over the background area.
Next step red! I don't usually work with red, so it was a fun challenge to deal with warm reds and cool reds, dark reds and highlight reds. The dark areas on the cup and saucer are actually dark green, cross-hatched with dark cool red. The shadow is the same dark green, cross-hatched with a lighter cool green. 'S lovely.
Finished piece. This juicy 8 x 10 framed pastel will be available at silent auction during Red Night 2009. Bids start at $100. It can be seen at Graham Gallery from February 14 through the 21st.
Help me out with a name, please! I'm thinking "Reddy for Tea".