Friday, 7 September 2012

Another African sunset - pastel painting

If you have been following this blog, you will know that I love sunsets. I find the ideal medium is pastel. I have previously painted a series of african sunsets in watercolour, these were actually artists trading cards. For this attempt, I decided to use a little larger format - an A4 sized paper, actually an orange coloured paper. For our American cousins, this size is approximately 8.5 X 11.5 inches or a little less tall than foolscap.

Although there is lots of orange in the painting, I don't think that any of the original surface is left showing through the finished work.
Here is a view of the painting:-

A much larger version of the image can be seen on my Flickr photostream.

As with previous posts, I have included here details of the painting, so that you can see how I use the pastel to achieve the textures. I covered the upper part of the painting with an orangey-brown ( don't know the exact colour as the labels are missing - a good reason for leaving the labels on. However, I tend to use the sides of the broken up sticks so no chance of that. the lower part was covere initially in black. Both areas were blended with finger tips and fixed between coats to cover the paper absolutely. The pastel was again fixed. I find that this provides a fabulous tooth for the the later pastel colours, which I can build up to a significant thickness.

Here is a detail of the left-hand tree foliage:-

You can see here the sweep of the pastel, using the side and skipping across the surface of the sky. the sky had been completed by blending in a darker brown into the corners; two shades of yellow provided the lighter area, and white for the sun. The blending action may have affected the colouring of the various areas. These lighter colours were not fixed prior to the trees being painted on.

The tree branch crossing the sun:-

The actual branch is drawn much lighter than where it crosses a source of light, the sun. And the LH tree near the horizon:-

Here you can see the effect of blending-in various dark greys to produce the ground contours. the vegetation on the horizon itself was painted in with the edges of the sticks and pulled into the ground by rubbing with a fingertip.

The image may be seen on a wrapped canvas or on a number of smaller gifts in one of my Zazzle stores.
For UK based readers, see my UK Zazzle store, Artyfax