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Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily

Summer is winding down and so are the Lillies in my flower garden. Before they were gone I painted a Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily in pastel. They are beautiful Lillies! Here’s a peek in the garden:

Stargazer Lillies

This is the second year of growth for these Mona Lisa Stargazer Lillies so they haven’t spread much. Their fragrance is mild compared to the Orienpet Lillies I shared in my previous post. The Lillies are a vibrant pink with splashes of deep red and are relatively low growing.

I picked a lily and put it in a small vase and it looked so cute I just had to paint it. I placed it under a strong light source and used some pan pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix paper to start. The pan pastels perform really well on this paper but hard and soft pastels not so much. I am not a fan of pan pastels because of the extreme softness and I’m not able to achieve the more finished look I prefer in my art. So, I used soft pastels to finish the painting and it was a bit of a challenge due to the roughness of the paper. Here’s my little still life set up:

Pan Pastels and Stargazer Lily

The light source is just above and to the left. I use the table to sort out the pan pastels since there’s plenty of room. I took a photo of the lily before I began painting because the flowers wilt pretty quickly, and used both the photo reference and the actual flower for my painting information.

Stargazer Lily Pastel Painting

Mona Lisa Stargazer Lily was painted on white Colourfix pastel paper and is about 8.75″ x 8.75″ in size. The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original painting. I can see where I might want to rework the foreground a little bit and bring the yellow hues into the right side of the painting some more. Otherwise I think this piece came out lovely!

Thanks for your time in stopping by! Much Love ~ Rhonda!

  • Stargazer Lily Pastel Painting
  • Poinsettia Pastel
  • White Lily Pastel Painting
  • Chives Pastel
  • Late Morning Orienpet Lily pastel painting
  • White Orienpet Lily Pastel
  • Bearded Iris pastel

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Late Morning Orienpet Lillies

These last few weeks I’ve been working on and off on a few pastel paintings of my Late Morning Orienpet Lillies. Mine are of the Alusta Hybrid variety. This year was spectacular and there were around 12 stalks of plants, since they spread every year. Here’s a pic of the garden in full bloom:


Late Morning Orienpet Lillies

The flower garden is mostly bulbs and there are three rose bushes and a Clematis vine. The Late Morning Orienpet Lillies put on a beautiful show for about two weeks and the fragrance is out of this world! So every year I make a painting that captures their essence and beauty. This is the first pastel painting of the two Lily’s painted:


White Orienpet Lily Pastel

“White Orienpet Lily” Pastel is painted with soft pastels on light green PastelMat paper and is about 6″x9″. The Lilys have short stems and when they are put in a vase they tend to lean to one side of the vase. I chose a 3/4 view for this piece and just depicted the top edge of the vase because of the way the Lily was situated.

 Late Morning Orienpet Lilies

This is the second pastel in the series and I chose a front view for this piece. “Late Morning Orienpet Lily” was painted with soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix white paper. The Colourfix paper is a new paper for me and I do not care for it. The surface is so rough it chews up the pastels quickly! Then it doesn’t hold many layers very well so I struggled with this painting a lot.

I painted a watercolor underpainting first and that all worked well. Then I used pan pastels to bring in some initial colors and the paper works great with pan pastels. But that’s about it. It even chews up the pan pastel sponges. I’m not a huge fan of pan pastels because they create very soft looking imagery. I need to play with them a lot more to see where they will be best used, so I used them sparingly on this piece and opted for my soft pastels instead.

I am pleased with how both paintings came out especially considering the struggles with the new paper on the second painting. I focused on being “playful and loose” as some artists would say, even though its not really my style. I think I was able to pull it off and I like the overall look of both pieces.

The Lillies are gone now. They are the highlight of our summer and all the neighbors come by to admire their fragrance and beauty. This year I found out what their true name is, Late Morning Orienpet Lily after doing an extensive search online. I always just called them white Lillies, even though they aren’t completely white. They are mostly an ivory white with yellow inside and light green on the outside along the veins leading to the stem. When the sun shines on the petals in just the right way, the ivory hue looks like a brilliant white. I just adore these flowers and am always sad when they are gone.

I’ll be back soon with a Stargazer Lily painting. Thanks for taking time to read my post! Much Love ~Rhonda


  • Bearded Iris pastel
  • White Lily Pastel Painting
  • Poinsettia Pastel
  • White Orienpet Lily Pastel
  • Late Morning Orienpet Lily pastel painting

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Sunset in the Park Pastel

Sunset in the Park is this week’s pastel work and is part of my ongoing series called The Beauty of Idaho. For those who are new here, I started a landscape series in pastel, on Feb. 25 this year, as a tribute to our beautiful state of Idaho.

This new work depicts a sunset in our nearby 4,000 acre state park called Farragut. Farragut State Park is a destination playground for many folks in the Pacific Northwest. It has cabins, rv/tent campgrounds, disk golf, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding trails as well as biking trails. All summer long as one drives by the park entrance, the sign is always out, which says “Park is full”. One needs a reservation a year in advance in order to stay for a weekend or longer trip! Luckily, day passes are available for those not wanting to camp.


Anyway, here’s my finished piece:

Sunset in the Park Pastel

I was drawn to the mesmerizing colors of the setting sun driving by the park one night, as the pine trees were silhouetted against a vibrant pink and orange sunset. I puller over and snapped a few photos, then stood in silent awe at the scene before me. The sun went down so quickly and within minutes it was over.

I love sunsets and in the summer it seems they are so outstanding. This is when we get the big cumulous clouds and sunsets become magical. I’ve taken many, many photos of sunsets in times past, but here in the northwest, they are the best. So, I decided to include this pastel painting, “Sunset in the Park”, as part of my landscape series.

Sunset in the Park pastel painting is approx. 10.75″ x 7.5″ and was painted on white PastelMat paper. I used a watercolor underpainting to help with the vibrance of the scene and as a guide to paint with. Before starting the piece I did a few thumbnails and a watercolor sketch in my sketchbooks. I also picked out a few preliminary sticks to begin.

Preliminary work for Sunset in the Park

I used a Moleskin watercolor notebook for the watercolor sketch and I must say, I’m not a fan. The paper buckles and there is too much sizing, preventing the watercolor from saturating the paper. It seems the watercolor just sits on top of the paper and when it dries its dull. So this book will just be used for studio studies of paintings and not taken in the field. I don’t use sketchbooks that don’t have good feedback and response to the materials because it’s not fun.

The kraft paper sketchbook is something new for me and I’m not sure about this one either. The paper is rather thin, and absorbs markers too fast. Pastel does well on it, but pencil looks dull. So again, this will not get much use other than for thumbnail sketches. Maybe Gouache would be better suited for this type of paper. I’ll have to order some and try it out. You never know, it could become my new found sketchbook love if I use gouache!


I didn’t include the Studio Mascots, Alistair and Cordelia, in this post because I’ve not received enough feedback from readers as to whether anyone finds them funny, or annoying. Only one person has commented about them and she thought it was hilarious. Thank you for that! I think it’s funny, but then I have a weird sense of humor. So let me know in the comments below if Alistair and Cordelia should continue with their art critiques or if they should be done away with!

Until next time, have a super week! Much Love as always. ~ Rhonda