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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Preparations for a pastel painting...painting a swamp scene from Florida Everglades

I am going to paint a pastel painting....but first I need to work out some issues with my subject.

Here is my photo of a swamp in Florida we visited.  It is very, very complicated.  I did a sketch with pen and ink and watercolor, trying to simplify it into a composition of a few of the elements in 4 values and a few shapes.
Next, I put my sketch out as my reference and started a watercolor on Arches coldpress block, using the sketch and making a few refinements of the shapes and began putting in the lightest colors.  As you probably know, when working with watercolor, you work from light to dark.
More color, more values, shadows of the branches more refined than in the sketch.
Doing refined darks of many colors of the branches.

If this painting comes out well as a watercolor, I might have to enter it in a show!  But my intention is to paint a pastel painting after I am done with this and work out all the composition, color, reflections, and issues that might arise - in watercolor first!   But, so far, this is looking pretty nice!

As an aside, I want to mention that I always wanted to visit the Everglades in Florida.  Last month we went to Florida for a week - our first visit ever.  I took many photographs and enjoyed my hikes along the trails and boardwalks of the various parks and nature preserves.  Swamps are very complicated scenes to paint though.  Every picture I took is of thickets and plants choking every available space.  So, it will take some thought on my part to eliminate a lot of extraneous information that is just too much for a painting.

Also, I must note that I am not familiar with this plant life.  I feel better doing drawing and sketching first to see if I can portray these subjects well - before I paint them.

The next post will be a continuation of this one.....stay tuned....


LIZ said...

Very interesting to read about your process. Sounds like you have a wealth of material from that visit to FL!

ti-igra said...

You did great job, Carolyn! You learned all details, light, shapes, shadows. And it is the tru - you loved this place so much!