When we’re on location I hear students complain that there is nothing to paint, that they want to move to another location. There is always something to paint – you may just have to look a little harder.
Take for instance this day I was out – it was overcast and I had limited time. It didn’t seem like there was much to paint but then this scene captured my attention:
The scene I painted
The first thing I do before I settle in is to make a thumbnail sketch (as you all know!!) to check for value masses and balance:
Thumbnail with three values
When I am okay with that, I make a quick drawing in charcoal on my paper, in this case, Wallis Belgium Mist:
Charcoal sketch on Wallis paper
It’s time to get started. I pick three pastels in three values (light, medium, dark) and apply lightly and quickly:
The first three values are down. You can see the design clearly now
Now I can begin adding a second layer:
The beginning of the build up of pastel layers. I’m feeling my way.
And now I get down to work in earnest:
The image begins to emerge. I am interested in capturing all the colours I see.
There are a group of dead branches emerging from the foliage. A tricky subject that needs to be included. How to do them? I just start in and see what happens:
More detail added including the grouping of dead branches.
I then add more details and more highlights. Eventually I realize I am beginning to get picky so it was time to stop. Before I did so, I added the small tree on the left feeling the design required a vertical at that point:
The final touches before I head home.
Back in the studio a few days later, after considering the pastel, I make a few more tweaks (on the fence for example) and then consider it done!
“Trees on Sharpe Rd,” pastel on Wallis paper, 9 x 12 in
And just for fun, here are a couple more images – one of me at my easel and the other of the pastels I used:
At my easel on location at Sharpe Rd.
Sennelier pastels I used – quite a few for me!
Do you have questions about the creation of this pastel? Please ask!
Thanks for being here,