After doing snow scenes before winter arrives, I have decided to do some fall scenes before it is over! This is a scene from Hope Valley, of an aspen grove. This is a watercolor underpainting on PastelBord. When it is dry, I will do the pastel over it.
We just got back from a short visit to Louisville, Kentucky. We visited Churchill Downs Racetrack during the off-season and took tours there of the barns. We also saw an exhibit about Secretariat.
I have never tried to do a sunbeam through trees in pastel before. I learned a trick in watercolor class - to use a damp sea sponge and a ruler and wipe a "beam" from a dry painting. But I know of no technique in pastel. So, it was totally experimental here.
I would have like to use less pastel over the watercolor underpainting, to let it peak through more, but it didn't look right. I think I'd like to try this scene again in the future and see if I can show more watercolor. "It's the challenge that calls me!"
I took a photo a few winters ago with the late afternoon sun coming through the snowy forest. I haven't done this type of scene before - with the sun's light radiating like a star through the trees. This is my watercolor underpainting on white Kitty Wallis sanded paper. When it dries I will apply pastel on top. I am really anxious to do this, to see if I can pull it off...
Although we ran out of time in our workshop for Anne Abgott to demonstrate the background for this painting, I referred to her book and also used the same cross-hatching strokes that we used behind the pears. First I brushed some mask around the edges of the glass and cherries so that I did not have to worry about accidently painting over the edges. After the paint dried I removed the mask. I lifted a few highlights on the cherries. I have to admit, I am exhausted from painting this! But it always feels real good to finish something.
I finally sat down to work a little more on this last project from Anne Abgott's workshop last week. I've never done anything like this. I'm not sure if this looks like cut glass yet. We have a very good color photo she gave us to work from. Some of the cherries inside the vase show through and are distorted. Some of the reflections and prism looking shapes in the glass are different shades of grey. It is tedius work, and sometimes I get lost and don't know where I am since the shapes are abstract.
It was a busy weekend. We had a baby granddaughter born, the rocking chair I ordered for my own pregnant daughter came in and had to be picked up, and my mother is recovering from surgery and needs someone (like me) dropping by twice a day to check her meds and pain control and meals. Sometimes it is darned hard to be a "stay-at-home-artist"!!!
This day we learned how to mingle 3-4 colors to make silver objects. No one finished since this still life has so many things to paint. But Anne Abgott demonstrated and helped us through the key techniques, down to the exact color to mix for realistic melons and white china.
Our second project with Anne Abgott was to take what we learned about mingling and apply it to 1) first the colors of the pears, then 2) to the values of the pears. We did a red pear first, then a green pear. She has spent a lot of time testing colors to get the perfect mix for the objects in her still lifes - so if we did not have the "right" brand and color paint, she gave us a little dab.
She had a variety of backgrounds we could choose from - and I chose the "gold gesso" stamped background. After laying a piece of paper cut out to protect the pears, we used her texture stamps to stamp in gold gesso and stamp it on our paper. Then she showed us how to paint with rich dark colors in a marbled way. Cool!
Today was our first day. In the morning, we learned the basic technique she uses to "mingle" colors on the page. We all got the same black and white photo and transferred a line drawing (contour) of the shadow shapes only - onto our 300 lb Arches watercolor paper. Then we used about 3 or 4 of prescribed colors to mingle. Basically, you place them on the paper in the shadow area and allow the pure colors to touch and let them bleed into themselves. Here is my picture.
I'll have to post the afternoon project tomorrow since I was running late and did not photograph it!
It rained the day of our October Show Reception - but that was a good thing. We had a very good turn-out. I was thrilled to be invited to be a guest artist. And here is my wall. I have a variety of work here (that is what they requested) ... watercolor, mixed media and pastel. We had wine and snacks of course, and some of my friends and family came. It was fun. The show will be up for a month. I am going to go back during the week when it is not so busy. There is jewelry, pottery, painted gourds and other gift ideas I may want to shop for family for Christmas.
Looking back at my photographic references of snow scenes, I am reminded how the camera doesn't pick up the variations in color in the light and shadow. My photographs look all monochromatic! The photos were also way too complicated. So I took a small section of a photo and simplified it. At this time it is not a good composition, but a good practice piece.
First I did a watercolor underpainting using Paynes Grey and throwing in some greens, blues and purples. I did light washes of the snow area with these colors as well.
Then I did a layer of yellow on the sunlit snow in pastel and rubbed it in with my finger. Then I did a layer of light peach on the yellowed snow, and also in the snow that will be shadow, and rubbed that in. Then I did different shades of blue on the snow in shadow. Next I used a white colored Nupastel over the sunlit snow - really thickly, but the warm colors still show through.
The dark background and tree stumps were just loosely scumbled with dark pastels. My main purpose was to work on the snow. I think I can now proceed to a larger painting, now that I have practised.
Earlier this day I was a participant at our local Celtic Faire. I joined my spinners and weavers group and we demonstrated. We were right next to the area where the bagpipe competitions were going on. It was a fun day.
Welcome to my art blog! This is where I share my explorations and learning experiences in pastel, watercolor and oil painting. I have had this blog for about six or more years. I am currently entering many national and regional juried art shows. I have a website and sell my work from there as well. I started a group called Reno Tahoe Plein Air Painters a year ago and it has grown to about 40 active painters! Each year brings new challenges and exciting opportunities. I have made many friends among other art bloggers and enjoy visiting their blogs. I hope you enjoy your visit here, and click on the links to my website and the plein air painters to see more!