Saturday, 28 April 2012

Near the Rustic Woodlot

I find that the larger format works better for me even though it takes a good number of days to complete a pastel painting of this size (18x24”) and the subject occupies the room and allows for so much more detail. This painting is taken from another one of Johannes Vloothuis pictures which I have modified in small ways. I used a few more warm tones in the field and in the trees to make the painting a little more inviting especially since green trees are just so drab and a person can use too much green in their landscape painting, as I’ve been guilty of doing. I also wanted to make that lovely turquoise sky a little more energetic with a sense of movement indicting the presence of wind which is also apparent in those leaning, windblown trees.

Near the Rustic Woodlot, Pastel on Wallis Paper, 18x24"
I’m not really sure what or where the scene depicts; however, I choose it since it reminded me of the farmers’ fields around the country side here in Haldimand County and I also loved the old fence. Next time it will be time to paint a spilt rail fence, I don’t like too many indications of human presence in the landscape but there just seems to be something about old objects the lend a certain charm to a composition.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Mighty Waterfall

I seemed to have waterfalls on the mind lately and decided to do a little picture research and discovered the majestic Lauterbrunnen Falls in Switzerland and just knew that I had to give it a go. I haven’t actually painted a waterfall in many years or at least not a representational interpretation of one. I decided to revert to a moody downplayed ‘winter’ palette or neutral colors and hope that the composition is strong enough to hold its own; therefore, this piece is more of a value study. I also find rocks and rocks faces to be very challenging since there isn’t a lot of opportunity to create separate forms so I had to rely on texture and value changes to create an interesting surface. Overall I hope it was successful. Water isn’t scary in of itself unless it’s in the form of a multi-tiered falls…I modified it so many times…oh enough said there. Sometime is best to just leave things alone even if they don’t look ‘finished’.
The Mighty Waterfall, Pastel on Wallis, 12x18"
Etsy Listing
I used my usual Unison and Ludwig sets of pastels; I’m thinking it’s time for some fresh sticks. Another Ludwig set, perhaps the Vibrants…those pan Pastels that Johannes Vloothuis speaks so fondly of have also captured my interest. But first maybe those Giraults are calling my name. You know that your artistically stumped when new materials are calling.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Spring Serviceberry Study

Spring Serviceberry Study, Soft Pastel on Uart/Canson Board, 9 x 12"
Etsy Listing
With spring just beginning to emerge here in Southern Ontario, I thought that it would be a great idea to do a study of a sparkling white serviceberry tree which is a native tree or shrub in this area. There are several beautiful trees growing nearby and a few of the shrub form including one that grows on the north side of my house. The juicy red-black berries are just adored by the local bird population including my favorite pair of cardinals. It’s always a treat to look out the living room window see them sitting in the shrub devouring the berries as fast as they can before the bossy robin shows up to spoil their fun.

 I found a beautiful picture online somewhere, probably Flickr, of a large specimen and decided to try a study despite the fact that the composition was less than impressive, hence the reason for this only qualifying as a study, well and it’s pretty small. I tried to use as many of the soft warm pink, violet and blue tones to make the white flowers stand out as much as possible without creating too much contrast. Once again this is Ludwig’s and Unison’s on Uart paper mounted on Canson Board.