Saturday, 23 June 2012

My latest pastel painting - more trees

Yep, I am afraid that I am still painting trees,. Although this time I have included a river and colourful vegetation.

I came across a photograph on Redgage, a site I am becoming fond of as I can post articles and pictures and even links to posts elsewhere and earn a little of the hard stuff for each viewing.
The photo was of a winter scene in the Allegheny Mountains by an artist and photographer who goes by the name of paintsonslate.

Again I worked in pastel a medium I am becoming increasingly fond of, I am doing very little in watercolour and acrylic and almost no oils. It was on a card base which was quickly covered in light blue as the sky and water covered a large part of the painting. After this first stage painting was worked around the card with fingers, I fixed it using an inexpensive hair spray. I worked different blues, greys and white into the sky and the area of the water an again fixed. Because the light colours lose their effecct with the fixing, I knew I would have to touch up parts after the trees were painted in.

I worked with several greens and earth colours to model the thicker limbs of the trees, and then outlined some of these areas with much lighter colours to contrast against the background where it was darker.

The reddish reeds/vegetation was put in and then detail added with a brighter red and yellow.

Once I had completed the trees to my satisfaction, I touched up white parts of the sky and painted over the water of the river because the waves and shadows were far too marked.

I mostly finished the painting in one evening at my art group but left it for a week and then looked at it again. It was this second time around that I decided to darken the trees, and the mountains (which were mostly painted before the trees) and to add more white into the sky. I also painted over the river to calm the colour contrasts. This sort of thing is of course quite common. Leave a work for a few days when nearly finished and with a fresh eye you can nearly always see how to improve it.

The completed work:

As usual, a larger version has been posted onto my flickr photostream.

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