Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pastel Musings

Summer Ripples (16 x 20 pastel on panel)

I thought I'd dig into my archives for today's post. In looking back through my postings, it's been awhile since I've posted a pastel.
The board for this painting was green.

And I mean a warm green similar to the middle value of the trees on the right. That made the sky pretty difficult, since I didn't want any of the color showing through. I might as well have started with white. I had to work with the panel flat, so that when I colored in the sky, all the extra dust stayed on the surface. I could then take an old paintbrush and gently work it into the crevasses. After that, I used my finger to build up the pigment so that the green was completely hidden.

Next came the golden hill and the faraway trees, which I wanted to keep especially cool. The color of the foliage in this picture is different from the forests around the Midwest in that the overall color temperature is cooler. I had to keep that in the forefront of my mind since my tendency is to use the warm greens that are found in Illinois.

For the beach, I found out just how many uses Great American's Violet Grey has. It's great for sky as well as rocks.

The grasses along the side went in easily. I was please that I chose a warmer color for the tassels. Then the reflections went in, and finally the moving water with the reflected sky.

The water was the part I was the most nervous about. I had just finished Summer Idyll and Chinook, where the water worked out great. But those were still waters, and the little ripples in this one made me unsure. But I looked at them as colors and shapes and recreated them rather than trying to represent ripples. It was really quite easy. After laying down the darker Neptune and Bismark (and maybe some Navy), I was able to scumble Denim over the surface, and viola! ripples.

But I've decided that I love painting water. There are so many variables - the lighting, the distance of the reflected items from the edge of the water, the cloud cover, the wind, etc. It's a great challenge. I think that growing up on lakefront property helps a lot, too. I have a firm memory base of what water looks like in various states, and I believe this basic understanding helps a lot in my landscape painting.

Keep noticing the details!
Pastel Guy - landscapes in pastel - handmade jewelry for sale

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