IT IS dark out there!  Tis the season for candlelit dinners.  Gotta make the best of a bad situation.

Usually, I light my subjects with incandescent light. I have been looking at Old Master still life paintings lately and decided to try lighting with candlelight. I think the results, although more subtle than I would have thought, are interesting. The candlelit pom is more golden and warm. I would like to try chiaroscuro next, having the subjects emerge from a dark background. I tried that with some beautiful dahlias a month ago and it didn’t work…but try try again.

These are studies for a painting of pomegranates—a project for my Purely Pastel Artists group ( The painting will also be critiqued as part of a bi-weekly painters group I belong to where the current assignment is Overlap/Underlap. I have done a painting thinking from the back forward, “overlap”, and now will do a painting from the front back, “underlap.” How does that make sense? I find so far that it helps me think spatially about the composition in a more focused way.

Painting study for pomegranates

Candlelit Pom 5×7

Pastel painting of pomegranate

Pom Study 5×7


 Yesterday, I delivered my five little miniatures to Art in the Valley as well as four pieces to the Pegasus Gallery in Corvallis for the holiday season. Bill has some work by Rick Bartow in there that is amazing. I will have to find more reasons to drop in there to visit them.

About Kate McGee

Pastel artist who paints real and imagined landscapes.
This entry was posted in Pastels, Still Life. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to BY CANDLELIGHT

  1. paperstew says:

    Wow, I had not even thought of reversal of pastel application. Both are beautiful.
    Thanks for the heads up on Pegasus happenings. I love Rick Bartows work! One of my prints hung next to a small kestral painting of his. It made me feel so honored to be placed near one of his works.
    Looking forward to seeing your new mini’s at Art in the Valley!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s