Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Field #2

Here is a painting I completed before I moved, but did not have time to post before I left.  It's another from the WC pastel forum's monthly spotlight for July, with photo taken by Paula Ford.

My goal for this was to try a new surface:  Golden pastel ground on matboard.  I had some pre-cut pieces that were given to me by a photographer friend years ago, and I finally decided to give them a try.  The Golden ground was untinted, and the board didn't curl or buckle as much as I thought it might.  Nonetheless, I placed it under some heavy books to press flat after it had dried.  This particular piece was a 1:2 ratio, which sounded fun to try.

I used an underpainting for this, shown below, just the usual isopropyl alcohol and pastel.  I decided over half way into the painting process to try the alcohol wash, which ended up filling up the tooth of the surface a bit where the focal tree is.  Otherwise, I was quite pleased with the surface.

The is actually flipped from the original photo, and I opted to simplify and brighten the palette, being inspired by a delightful painting of a Cypress tree done in oils while blog surfing.  There are elements of the painting I like, but the trees and shrubs are a bit too contrived as far as their edges and shapes go, and there is no sense of space, I think due to values being too dark for the distal row of trees.  I also ended up cropping the painting from the original scale.

This painting, and the last field painting I did, were good practice, as I'm thinking that a series of such paintings is in order based on photos taken during our drive across the farm belt.  I saw many such fields/tree rows during the drive, and I found them to be quite attractive.

"Summer Field #2"
approx 8x14"


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