In this post, I want to share with you a piece I did where I tried to sort out the chaos of light and shadow.
I’ve been in Mexico for two weeks. One of my projects was to paint en plein air as preparation for my painting holiday workshop in Spain at the beginning of May. (Easier to paint outside here than in the rain and cold of home in Victoria BC at the moment!) To that end, for the first time when coming to La Manzanilla, I brought my easel. Usually I have a small box of pastels and board and paper so as you can imagine, way more than I usually bring! Still it’s been a treat to stand at an easel rather than have a rock, a log, a chair if I’m lucky, or flat on the ground if I’m not, dictate the scene I’m going to paint. Now it was only the need for shade that I looked for. The light is bright here, the colours vibrant, the shadows defined and dark.
The day I painted this it was scorching so rather than venture far, I decided to paint the two chairs and table on our wee verandah. In truth, because of the tiny space, my easel was too close to the subject but I decided to worry more about describing the chaos of light and shadow than creating an accurate drawing.
So let’s have a look!
The chaos of light and shadow made this piece challenging! It was difficult to see all the shifts and changes and I had to continually remind myself to squint so as to simplify what I was looking at. It was also tricky reading all the various colours in the shadows but I continually compared one to the next and in that way could see that that was cooler and that was warmer. This was a good exercise in colour comparison and relationships!
One of the things I found working with an easel and larger selection of pastels than what I’m used to when travelling is that I sometimes found the selection of pastels a bit overwhelming to choose from and really I don’t even have that many!
I hope this progression of pictures helped you see how I coped with the chaos of light and shadow in the scene. Please feel free to ask any questions. And please leave a comment about what you learned or a comment about anything at all!
Until next time,