Growing orchids happens to be one of my favorite past-times so when I picked up painting again; slipper orchids where one of my first subjects. Back then I mostly used colored pencil but when bad shoulder problems started to manifest I knew it was time to find another medium. Now I work primarily with soft pastel since it’s the most direct of mediums that requires less preparation and cleanup than oil paint which is my other preferred medium especially for larger landscapes.
Phragmipedium Geralda was my first orchid and has been with me the longest and has to be one of the easiest to grow so naturally it had to be one of the first orchids that I had to complete in pastel. Actually this is the second orchid portrait since I did complete a small portrait of the Star of Bethlehem orchid last year on Ampersand Pastelbord; however, I do seem to prefer the Wallis Professional White paper over the Pastelbord since it holds more pastel and is less likely to smudge while I’m working with it thereby making details easier to render. I’m also finding that the Wallis paper works wonderfully to create a soft and airy quality that I just couldn’t achieve in colored pencil. I used my usual Terry Ludwig, Unison and Faber Castell pastel pencils.