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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

North Tahoe Cove - work in progress

We are having an entire week of afternoon thundershowers. My roses love this rain! Usually I have to protect them with umbrellas to keep them from frying in the hot sun. The mornings are the only time I can paint in my outdoor studio. When the dark cloud came over and thunder and rain started, I tried to continue under the skylight indoors, but the drastic change in lighting confused me. So I stopped for today. I think I'll spin some baby alpaca (cria) into fine yarn and listen to the rain.

Back to my subject - the North Lake Tahoe Cove painting. I am doing a familiar painting, cropping off some and simplifying a little. I am also doing it on Ampersand PastelBord, an archival surface. I am finding this surface is already easier to work on than the one I did last year.

I began with a sketch and value thumbnail.

Then two layers (drying inbetween) of watercolor wash. For those of you who want to try this - notice the "blooms". Even though the board seemed dry, when I added more dark, it blossomed outward. No problem, that will be covered up with pastel anyway.

Now for some pastel. The camera flash insisted on going on because it was so dark from the storm clouds. I don't like using flash, it washes out the color more than it is. Looks weird at this stage. Tomorrow I can do more.


Sharon said...

I enjoy seeing the steps required for a finished pastel piece. I had no idea that watercolor was involved at all!

Carolyn Jean Thompson said...

Sharon, watercolor is only one way to start a pastel. The thing about watercolor is that your surface has to tolerate water. Some pastel surfaces cannot, the paper buckles, the fixative used to glue the grit to the surface dissolves and the grit comes off. This board by Ampersand has a clay base which is probably why I thought it was dry, but it wasn't, thus the watercolor "bloom".