Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two from Pennsylvania - pastel

Ever since I took those 1000+ photos on our drive out here, I've been thinking I'd like to do a series of them.  Mostly barns and fields, as those were the things that for whatever reason I found most appealing, but there were random sky photos that I took as well.

I have been caught up doing other things and not painting lately - save for the single plein air piece - and it's been bothering me.  I need to sit down and write out a schedule for myself to paint and/or draw every day.  Really, there is no excuse.  You don't improve by merely "thinking" about painting.

So, last night, I finally plugged in my flash drive into the studio laptop and decided to just *do something*, painting-wise.

These were the two results.  Both are done from shots taken in Pennsylvania on the day we left.  It is late afternoon, although the first one looks more like a sunset, it's really the dramatic effect of the sun partially hidden by a large cloud.  The colors were wonderful, but the camera never quite captures them...esp. when I am shooting from inside a moving car.

I did a small value study/composition sketch in pencil for this, leaving out some trees and adjusting the slope so it wasn't heading in the same direction as the cloud angle.  Otherwise, the goal was fast and loose for both of these.  They weren't planned as keepers, so they aren't on fancy paper.

Late Afternoon - Pennsylvania
9x11" - #320 sandpaper

The second was done from a really blurry photo of a field.  I liked the abstracted shapes and simple colors - the sky was overcast.  The really bad photo ended up being just perfect for an abstracted landscape.  Stratus clouds (low-lying clouds, aka "fog") filled the sky, and mist added to the aerial perspective.  It's in contrast to the above image.  

I probably did this in 15-20 min. at most.  It is on black Artagain paper, which is what I use when I am not wanting to commit to a painting.  As usual, its smooth surface doesn't allow for much blending or layering, but that's okay.  The foreground slope had some type of vegetation on it - probably wildflowers  and such - but in the photo, they are merely blurred colors.  I liked that, so I did the same on this painting.  I just started pulling colors out - whatever suited my fancy - and went for it.  

Pennsylviania Field #1

Now that I've hopefully broken out of my non-painting rut with these studies, I can now settle down and do some more purposeful paintings on some better paper with more planning.  I wasn't in the mood to do that last night, but these paintings were just what I had in mind.


  1. Love the colors in Late afternoon. Nice

  2. Hi Becky,

    Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment. That piece is probably a reminder that I would do well to loosen up my work more often :).

  3. Nice field and sky colors in these, nice and loose.

  4. Thanks, Jala! Yeah, after not having picked up pastels for almost a month, I just needed to throw something down on paper and not fuss with it :).


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