To date this has to be one of my most favourite pieces. From the moment I planned out this rose in Unison soft pastels to every second of painting it, I found the whole process relaxing and enjoyable.

rose in unison soft pastels

It’s created on Fisher 400 sanded paper that is buff in colour, so I used a Faber Castel charcoal stick on the background as I really wanted it to be a rich black to offset the delicate rose.

In the reference picture, the light was quite striking, so I wanted to make sure that I captured that correctly and I am really happy with the way that it has come out.

My Method of Painting

I’d love to say that I actually have one, but other than working at a sort of top left corner to bottom right corner kinda way, there really is no real logic to how I work. And this is only because it’s the path with the least amount of smudging by leaning on my work. Of course, if you are left handed, you would work the opposite way.

I started this with a very loose outline in pastel pencil and worked from a large printed version that I stuck on the wall above my work area and then I also have the image digitally available on a tablet which allows me to zoom in a little closer on specific details and colours.

As you can see, the more layers I add to the piece, the more depth and realism is achieved. Almost like the rose is beginning to pop off the page. To achieve this, you really need to pay attention to the shadows and light to lift the piece in all of the right places.

You’ll notice quite a difference between the first picture where it’s all looking very flat, through to the last picture where much of the deep recesses of the flower are in place. It’s the darkness of these areas that create the illusion of light shining through the other areas.

Materials Used

The majority of this was created with Unison Soft Pastels but there are a few other brands in there too. I also used a selection of pastel pencils for some of the fine details, but not too many. The paper is quite new to me, it’s by an artist called Tim Fisher and this is Fisher 400, which refers to the grain. It feels quite rough to the touch but it was an absolute joy to use and I will be using this much more often. I was able to purchase this from Jacksons Art where I buy the majority of my art materials.

This original piece of art measures 35 x 36 cm, so is a fairly large piece and is now listed for sale in my Etsy store here:-

Or do feel free to contact me directly for enquiries.

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