Hello to everyone, and thanks for stopping to read about and view my latest pastel painting!
In December of this year, I am going to be offering some of my pastel paintings for sale at a town-wide Christmas open house near me.
I am very excited and a bit nervous. As my daughter used to say when she was very little, “I’m nervous-cited!”
First, I don’t really like to “market” myself or my art much beyond this blog, Instagram, and a few other places.
I am just not comfortable with the whole thing, but this open house is a way to dip my toe in, if you like, and hopefully enjoy myself in the process.
So, in order to get ready I have begun painting some smaller pieces that might appeal more readily to those who may attend this type of function. “Solitude” from my last post, is one of those smaller pieces…
Which brings me to today’s painting. I call it, “Paradise Lost.”
I started this painting with a fun acrylic ink underpainting:
Next, I blocked in using soft pastels starting with the darks.
Adding and building up the form:
A few more finishing touches and a signature, and I’m done!
Let me know if you enjoyed this piece. I’d love to hear what you think!
Summer is almost done and we are starting up homeschool next week, so I wanted to take the time to post my latest piece along with some thoughts and progress photos showing my process.
I definitely had a different mindset for this one.
I was aiming for something a little looser, less refined. More impressionistic, I guess.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
FIRST MY REFERENCE: I took this photo in my front yard.
I think the photo is beautiful. But that’s a problem for me because as beautiful as this photo is, I am NOT into copying for the sake of realism. It’s just not my style.
As I grow and change as an artist, I find that I enjoy leaving some things to the IMAGINATION when I create a piece. I am not a camera and my eyes and brain don’t see the same way a camera lens does!
I also think it’s important to leave room for the viewer’s imagination—to suggest some things and let the viewer fill in the rest.
This approach INVITES rather than CONTROLS and let’s the viewer engage with the art.
PROGRESS PHOTOS & PROCESS
After selecting my reference, I began to do some expoloration—probably more exploration than I’ve done to prepare than for any other work!
First, I did a simple charcoal study to get a feel for the subject and composition…doesn’t look like much and isn’t meant to!
Next, I did a simple line drawing for use on my larger paper.
Once I had a feel for the subject, I uploaded my sketch to iPastels to do a more in-depth monochrome study.
Now I was ready to move on to a color study. In the original reference (top), if you look closely you can see lots of green from the vegetation as well as yellowish reflected light. I wasn’t too keen about either, instead preferring to leave the background abstract and focus on all of the beautiful neutrals of the dove.
After completing the color study, my next step was to play around with the background.
Remember, I wanted something loose that wouldn’t compete with the bird itself, so I uploaded the above image into iPastels and tried out different backgrounds…a real time saver and easy way to compare backgrounds side-by-side without wasting materials!
I finally decided on the top right (blueish) background, and tested it out on the bottom left corner of the photo.
With my color and value studies to guide me, I began my painting on Pastelmat paper using a variety of soft pastels.
By the time I got to the stage in the above photo, I knew I needed to let my painting sit for a few days so that I could look at it with fresh eyes later.
So….after many days of life getting in the way 🙂 , I made a few white board notes of things I might want to change.
And Finally, the finished piece:
Sorry this one was so long, but thanks for coming on this wonderful artistic journey with me!
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave your comments in the comment section.
Today I bring you a brief pastel painting demo and accompanying video of a beautifully lit scene that inspired me to run outside with my camera when I saw it. 🙂
As you can see in the reference photo below, the far tree-line was lit with orangey-gold light, and it contrasted in such a lovely way with the dramatic sky and the darkened foreground…definitely inspiring!
I began my painting with a soft vine charcoal sketch on Pastelmat paper. You can see my thumbnail sketch to the left of my support.
Next I blocked in the major shapes….
My palette of colors using a mixture of hard and soft pastels:
Here is the final painting!
Below is the link to my Youtube channel for those of you who would like to watch a video of this painting coming together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I had fun painting it!