“Scarlet Begonias” 9″ x 12″ on Bogus Rough 70# brown paper, gouache, charcoal, oil pastel, collage papers, tea bag paper.
I had this song running through my mind for several days, Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias. One of those times when the lyrics keeps repeating every time I let my mind quiet, so I started to sketch a face to go with the words.
“She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes.
And I knew without askin’ she was into the blues.
She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls,
I knew right away she was not like other girls….”
Before I began sketching I glued down random pieces of paper left over from other projects and after they were dry I covered them with a coat of gesso. Then I roughly sketched in the face with pencil. When I thought I had pretty good proportions I began painting in the face and hair with gouache. When the gouache was dry I used oil pastels repeating the color and using other colors on top of the orignal drawing/painting. After a day or so of drying time, I coated the surface with matte medium. The oil pastels are very satisfying to work with, and create this painterly look without much work other than smearing around with my finger.
“…Well there ain’t nothing wrong with the way she moves.
Or scarlet begonias or a touch of the blues.
And there’s nothing wrong with the look that’s in her eyes.
I had to learn the hard way -I had to let her pass by…”
Lyrics – Robert Hunter
Music – Gerry Garcia