So, yesterday, I tried something different. A discussion on WC about painting on black paper prompted me to experiment with some watercolor paper and black acrylic paint as a surface. I've always liked working on black paper; it makes the pastel colors much more intense.
I also was reminded of why it's often a good idea to do thumbnails of complex scenes to distill them down to a series of simple abstracted shapes in 3-4 values, and as a reminder that often "less is more" when it comes to detail in a painting.
These are a step towards abstracting the landscape. I was also needing a high-chroma color fix, so these paintings are good for that. They are fun to paint and I'm really enjoying working with the bright colors and compliments.
pastel on cold press watercolor paper toned black
12x 7.5 inches
pastel on w/c paper toned black
Orange aspen? Not the usual color, but certain stands are pale orange. Add some late afternoon backlighting and they positively glow orange! There is a small stand of them along Hwy 550 near Coal Bank Pass, with a convenient pull-out, which is where the photos that this painting is based on.
This is the cropped version; the original had the center tree right in the center and some misc. trunk/busy-ness over on the right.
Here is the page of 4x3" thumbnails I did for a few of these yesterday: