Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dramatic skies

I am not quite sure how much an under paint gives me - this one was done with purple values and rubbing alcohol. The picture on the right has some blues and yellows layered on top of it.

So I am not convinced about the advantages of under painting and when or not to use it.... You sure use less pastel because you don't have to rub in so much chalk to cover all of the white spots in the sand paper.

The key to realistic clouds is to paint the sky into the cloud - negative painting. It gives the clouds their typical transparency and "cuttony" appearance.

I got some compliments on this one. It started as a study and it turned out to be very soothing to the eye. I love the fact that there are so many blue transitions. Now I am going to have to frame it!


I finally pushed myself to join one of the local pastel workshops.
Barbara Van Dyke Shuman's monthly workshops are a treat. I got to know one of the most kind artists and teachers in the area. I also got to meet new people that share the passion for pastels as much as I do. By working in her studio surrounded by all her art work it was easier to engage and complete my work from start to finish.

This was a big step for me. With her guidance I painted a very realistic shadow/light contrast landscape using a reference photo. We started by doing a little sketch where we identified values, lightest light and darkest dark are so important! I realized how sketching makes finding the right values on your palette much easier.

I would have never picked purple and pink for the mountains. Barbara's suggestion was the critical touch that made the yellow in the field look even more luminous! Plus she let me use one of her best pastel sets :).