55. Sagebrush

In late September of 2019 found my partner, Michele, and I in The northern section of Yellowstone National Park. It was a grey and drizzling day, having snowed the night before on the tops of the mountains. We paused at a trailhead somewhere near the Slough Creek campground off of US Highway 212 when I took a series of photos of this clump of sagebrush. I was fascinated by the mix of colors in this one plant – the sage grey-green; and the burnished bronze of the flowers. The pattern of green and gold receded for hundreds of yards into the distance. I shortened the focal depth, so that the photos would emphasize the flowers & textures in the foreground.


I usually progress from background to foreground in my pastels. For the background, the emphasis is more to the overall textures of the scene without drawing any individual plants. I worked circular textures, especially in the lighter areas, as a way to un-focus the shapes. The foreground stems I found interesting – I could reveal the texture by drawing in negative space, where I emphasized shapes via painting the dark edges and the spaces between stems. I used a thin paint brush, loaded with a mixture of violets, dark greens and Painters Gray for those negative spaces.   


This piece belongs to my #ArtForGood project, where all proceeds are donated to a suitable nonprofit. For this piece, I will donate funds to DiscNW‘s Youth Development Fund, which provides scholarships and program support for youth ultimate in the Greater Seattle area.


  • Medium Sennelier oil pastels on Arches Oil Paper, 140lb.
  • Dimensions 8″ x 10″, mounted, double-matte (in colors, as shown), 11″ x 14″, unframed, cello-bagged
  • Donation US$150
  • Status Sold

~ by Delfino on 2020/02/26.

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