Saturday, 27 August 2011

Pastel paintings - landscapes

I have been using my pastels at my weekly art group meetings for the past couple of weeks and of course they havae all been landscapes. One of the issues that I have painting at these group meetings is that I always feel I need to complete a painting on the evening. I don't get much time for art at home these days and keeping a painting from one week to the next doesn'r really appeal to me. The first was done very quickly, This was the Tuesday of the riots (in the UK) and we spent a loy of time putting the world to rights before beginning to paint. I did not have much time left and so chose a very quick subject.

From a rerference photo of a barn in the Trossachs ( Scotland). I think it is the colours here that is attractive about this one. Simple and hence quick but quite effective I believe.
This was done on a yellow ( A4 size) paper, which is why the clouds have a slightly green tinge. The paper colour obviously works well for the colours in the rest of the painting.

The second took most of the 1.5 hours that we have on the evening ( plus a half-hour coffee break) and although I was a little unsure of this at first, I now find it very pleasing.

An italian scene, a little licence taken with the reference but I was trying to use a new technique, or at least different from my usual method of working with pastels. Note the many small strokes to get an optical mix ( a la Pointilism) rather than broad strokes with the side of the pastels. This is again approximately A4 size and is on buff card. The many small strokes produce an all-over layering which hides the colour of the ground. I shall be trying this technique out againg soon.

This last piece was anotherfairly quick piece but due to the subject more than the disturbances of friendly chatter. Again the strokes are very broad from the side of the pastel pieces.
Also A4 sized card, actually the back of a writing pad. I find that the surface of this source allows me to work with many layers because I fix each layer as I work throught the painting, a detailed look at my technique is seen in an earlier post basically here a light shade of orange was layered on the ground and a yellow and a red were layered onto this after fixing. The initial layer is thus allowed to be seen through the overpainting. Various earth colours were used for the foreground and for the trees.

As usual larger images can be seen on my Flickr account if you want to try to see how the stroke work affects the textures of the paintings.

I was asked about my pastels on Flickr, and I quote this from my answer on that platform..... "I use artists soft pastels. I have a very large collection of different makes / types and colours. A large part of the collection is of professional quality but I do have lots of artists coloured chalks.
The favourites in my collection are Daler-Rowney or unison ( very soft without being too crumbly) and Caran d'Ache (harder for line work) but I have by no means tried all the many makes available. In between these I have aquired many different sets and odd colours as presents and from browsing in art shops, etc.
I do have oil pastels but rarely use these, possibly because mine are of poor quality, i.e. too waxy and hard"

Sunday, 14 August 2011

New pastel painting, Barn in the Trossachs

MAnaged to get this in last week at my art group, we spent lots of time talking about the recent riots and I couldn't settle down. I hadn't prepared a reference subject so picked something finally which I thought I would finish in the 45 minutes or so which I had left.

I was struck by the colours in this piece and decided as usual to add my own interpretation. Not my usual style as I did not build up the one in layers but just kept painting until I was happy with the result. Lots of texture as usual rather than detail drawing. The size is approx A4.

Oh yes.. it was actually done on a yellow paper which is why the sky thru the clouds seems a littlte greenish - can't get everything right all the time, LOL