Monday, June 14, 2010

Aerial Sky Series - On Approach to Atlanta

This will probably be my next-to-last painting in this series, at least for a while - I have a new series in mind that I'd like to get started on really soon.

This is another piece that was intended to be a quick, loose study.  I often like to use the black Strathmore Artagain for these pieces due to its smooth surface, which forces one to be more deliberate with pastel laid down, as mistakes aren't easily corrected.

This is another based on a photo taken as we were in our initial descent towards Atlanta.  The bottom of these cumulus defined the upper level of the smog/haze from the greater Atlanta area, which I found fascinating.   The land wasn't really visible below the clouds due to the appreciable amount of smog present, and the distal row of cumulus clouds acts as the horizon line for an otherwise indeterminate boundary of sky vs. land.

This is a combination of Unisons, a few Senneliers, and MV's.  I was able to achieve a surprising amount of blending via layering on the darker areas of the land.  Normally, I try to avoid finger blending on this surface - it often results in "dead zones", where no additional pastel may be layered.  But, I did want to try and duplicate the soft, blended and lost edges of the clouds with the land on the western (right) side, so I used light, discreet blending here.

I'm not sure the shadowed leading edges of the clouds work so well, and the distal cloud line could be a bit better (and straighter!), but it's not a total faceplant.  While I don't think Artagain paper will ever become a surface of choice, it's good to use now and again.

On Approach to Atlanta - 9x12"
pastel on black Artagain paper


  1. I'm amazed how you're able to do this sort of thing on that paper!

  2. Jala - Haha! Working on this paper definitely reminds me that I much prefer sanded surfaces. I'm never overly thrilled with the results, but it's a good shake-up to use it from time to time...sort of like jumping into a cold pool from a jacuzzi. Okay, maybe that was a dumb analogy, but there you go ;).


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