Sunday, December 20, 2015


When Corn Lilies Bloom  
Pastel | 16x8

Late July in the High Sierra's is one of my favorite times because of the Corn Lilies blooming (Veratrum californicum; also called Skunk Cabbage). They only grow between 3500-10,000 feet where their strap-like, deeply veined leaves are distinctive. The flower head is showy and prolific.  They signal the presence of water as they like to be in moist, boggy places. Stumbling upon a meadow with these lovelies is a special occurrence.  Late afternoon shadows made this scene worthy of a painting homage.

Painting Notes: I used Art Spectrum black paper here as the scene was dominantly in shadow. One of the interesting thing about using black or dark paper is that the values of your pastels go up a notch. What would be in the 5-6 value range now become your lights in the 3-4 range. It's a bit challenging to 'rediscover' your palette of color choices, making a scrap of the same paper valuable to have right next to the image so you can try out each color before you apply it to the painting.