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What an instant difference a background makes!

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This osprey is one of two that I am undertaking in pastel as a commission. I am using my favourite combination of soft pastels ( usually Art Spectrum but sometime Rembrandt if the former does not have the shade I want ) and pastel pencils ( Derwent, Cretacolour or Conte once again depending on the shade I need).   

I find it interesting that as soon as I start on the background, in this case a moody sky, the painting starts to take shape. Depth and detail is enhanced and the picture comes to life even though it is far from finished. You can see this from the comparative photos above.....

This is a very time consuming piece, as I enjoy ( well maybe that is too strong a word!) capturing the details - the colours and textures of the feathers, the outstretched claws ready to land on the ( invisible) branch, the eyes fixed on it's mate nearby ( you'll see her soon....) A story being told in an instant.....looking forward to sharing this story with you in subsequent posts.....

  

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