Tuesday, April 06, 2021
Saturday, April 03, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Then choose colors that will help create the feeling you want. We are experimenting with paper color over on my Patreon group. This yellow wildflower painting was one of my recent demos. I painted the same subject with the same palette of pastels on two different paper colors. The left side is blue Canson paper and the right side is a dull orange piece. Can you see the difference the paper color can make?
I am releasing a video demo I made last year for my Patreon group. I recently was asked how to choose paper color...does the color of the paper we use mater? The answer is yes! Head over to my YouTube channel to watch the demo. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe to my channel. Click on the notifications bell to be notified when a new video is released!
Thursday, March 25, 2021
- To give myself a head start I do an alcohol wash underpainting to establish the value masses as well as a bit of color. The alcohol did not effect the surface. This underpainting allows me to start the pastel painting with a base in place. That is less surface that I need to cover with pastels.
- Next I use hard pastels to block in the same areas. I use dark blues for the trees and some reds and oranges for the foreground. At this point it was obvious that the pastels were not covering the surface completely. The pastel marks were not filling in the grooves of the gesso brushstrokes. This is where it can get frustrating!
- I take a piece of pipe foam insulation and rub in this first layer of hard pastel. That is the secret!This pushes the pastel into the grooves making the subsequent layers go on more easily. Less pastel is needed and the softer pastels will not be shredded! Below is a photo of this first layer once it is rubbed into the surface.
Friday, March 19, 2021
I was captivated by the light! We were walking in a small seaside park on a paved trail. It wasn't my kind of park since it was quite manicured with neatly mowed grass. I prefer wild and weedy! But I couldn't ignore the light of the setting sun. It even made the shaved shrubbery beautiful. I noticed a collection of palm trees that were glowing with warm sunlight. I took a photo for future inspiration.
I decided to paint the trees but I needed to first eliminate the clutter. There was a big condo building behind the trees. It wasn't important to my story. I was interested in capturing the glow! I did two things to make this happen:
- I began the painting with a warm underpainting. I chose 3 values of red and did an alcohol wash n Luxarchival paper. The warm red will help to establish the warm colors in the sunlit trunks. It also serves to unify the entire painting as well as make the greens more vibrant!
- The red underpainting gave me a head start but it was my pastel selection that made the glow as intense as I remembered. I used a very limited palette. See the color swatches below. They were selected from my Terry Ludwig Floral Landscape set. Notice there are mostly cool colors....blues and greens. There are a few warm colors and this contrast of warm and cool helped to promote the glow.
- TIP: Using warmer and more intense colors in the sunlit area made the trees glow. If I had used lighter value colors the effect would not be as strong.
Friday, March 12, 2021
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Monday, March 08, 2021
Monday, March 01, 2021
Imagine a butterfly flitting through your landscape painting. You need to give your butterfly places to rest...interesting areas to explore before moving on to the next interesting resting place. Can you imagine that? (if you are a patron be sure to watch the video today for a reminder)
Friday, February 26, 2021
I recently read an interesting article about Cezanne. Since we have been focused on painting mountains on Patreon this month I was intrigued by his fascination with his muse Mont Sainte-Victoire. I thought it might be fun to try to paint the mountain in my own style!
I did not get to see Mont Sainte-Victoire on my trip to Provence. (it is definitely on my return bucket list!) but I was able to find a copyright free reference photo on Pixabay Here is a link to my search: https://pixabay.com/images/search/mont%20sainte%20victoire/
I used this photo from Twalerio. Click on the photo to make larger. If you are looking for a fun painting project this weekend why not paint Mont Sainte-Victoire in your style! We are sharing our results on my Patreon Community page if you are a member. I am also starting a thread on my Facebook page and I welcome you to share your version there!
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
What is Pastelmat paper?
PASTELMAT® is a premium card surface (360gsm / 170lb) specially developed for pastelists. Its unique velvety surface, made from a fine coating of cellulose fibers, has the ability to grab and hold multiple layers of even the softest pastels.
Is it a sanded paper?
Does it take a dry wash/underpainting?
Friday, February 19, 2021
But the time came eventually to get these pastels out of the original box and get them ready to paint with rather than stare at! We all face this issue. We get a new box of pastels and we aren't' sure of the best way to store them. Here are a few of my tips:
- The absolute best way to paint is to have all of your colors in one box such as a Heilman or Dakota box, organized by color and value. Even if you make a box it is much better to have them all in the same box rather than having to cart around several boxes and hunt and peck for the right pastel color/value. So no matter how pretty they look in their box...take them out and introduce them to your other pastels!
- Next you have to do some pastel surgery. You need to break them into smaller pieces without the wrapper. Some pastels come in small enough manageable shapes. For example I don't break Terry Ludwig or Diane Townsend pastels. I like to have smaller pieces because I like to make larger swaths of color.
- Take the wrappers off or break off a piece. With the wrappers on and full size, I tend to want to draw with them rather than paint. For these Great Americans, I was able to snap off about 1/3 and pull it from the wrapper. The wrapper and the rest of the pastel stays in the original box and the piece goes into my working box.
- Next take your unwrapped piece of pastel and put it into your working box. (organized by color and value is best) I usually put all new pastels into my big box. Occasionally I will get a special set such as this McKinley set that I want to keep separate. I like to challenge myself and use a particular palette for a painting. I keep some cigar boxes on hand that I line with foam for these separate sets. I have a Stan Sperlak set, Terry Ludwig Arid landscape, Jimmy Wright Great American set that I like to keep separate.
- Do you mix hard and soft pastels together? Yes and no. I like to keep my Nupastels in a separate box all mixed together since I really only use them for underpaintings. I keep Giraults separate since the are so small. Other than that I mix them all together. If you are brand new and don't have a big selection I would but them all together until you build up your collection. Than you can put the very hard sticks in a separate box.
Today's painting was done using only my newly prepared Richard McKinley set. I just love these pastels!
Monday, February 15, 2021
The color chart above shows my technique. The trick is to start layering with a duller and darker red. I sometimes even begin with a dark purple. Here I began with a dark brick red. I selected two other dull cooler reds for the middle layers. I reserved the most vibrant and warmest (orange) reds for the final layers. You can see these bright reds better when they are layered over the dark cool reds. In contrast if you just go right to the brightest red it isn't as interesting!
Depending on how much warm light there is in your scene you could take it a step further and add some red orange and even push it to go with some orange and yellow orange as I did in the poppy painting. You are moving toward the yellow of the sun!
I have a digital PDF step by step demo of this painting available in my Etsy shop. Click here for the link
Friday, February 12, 2021
- I began by brushing off some of the green layers with a stiff brush. This left a ghost image of the tree shapes.
- I gave the entire painting a light spray of workable fixative. This allowed the darks to be anchored and gave me a base to build the warmer colors. This dark base was just what I needed.
- I started adding warm colors beginning with dark reds and gradually getting warmer and more intense. I ended with the intense orange marks.
- I also worked from broad marks to smaller details. The last marks were the grasses and smaller light flowers. I used hard pastels for the grass marks and a pale yellow soft pastel for the flowers.
- I did use the workable fixative occasionally in between layers. This gives the look you see in the rough texture. I like this technique for suggesting foliage and grasses.
Monday, February 08, 2021
I am sharing an opportunity to join a livestream demo with me! I will be conducting a 3 hour online talk and pastel demo on color for the Arkansas Pastel Society. Since it is a livestream they are able to open registration to all and there are some spots available!
I will begin the livestream with a talk sharing the four tips I use to get more exciting color in my landscape painting. I will them apply the tips to a full demo. I am not painting these yellow trees but it will be a landscape painting! If time allows I have a second mini demo planned! You will also have the opportunity to ask me questions through the live chat feature of the livestream. Once you register you will receive the link to the livestream a few days before the stream begins.
I am sharing a screen shot of the registration form which has more details. I hope you will join us!
Saturday, February 06, 2021
It is Color Bootcamp month so if you would like a refresher or some tips on achieving more harmonious color consider joining us this month! It is just $4 or $6 for the bonus lessons and Paint along!