Sunday, November 7, 2010

Four Corners series - in pastel

Wanting to remain with the current road trip theme, but with a break from the oils, I decided to do some pastel versions.  I'm not counting these as part of the series as far as numbers go - those are for oils.  And these are views that I liked enough to want to paint, but didn't want to dedicate the time and materials to do them in oils.

My goal was to keep them simple and loose.  And not spend much time on them - less than 45 min.  So, they're more like studies or sketches.  They also made me see some additional deficits in my pastel collection, so I'm back to trying to decide which set(s) I'll get when I can afford to.

Leading the Way
pastel on black-toned w/c paper

This depicts another view of one of the washes leading from the Vermilion cliffs that quickly forms a deep side canyon that drains into the Colorado in this area known as Marble Canyon.  Small rocky cliffs are seen in the foreground, and curve off to a deeper gorge.  The cliffs in the distance:  the Echos.  They look really awful in this painting - too dark in value, a bit too large, and too clunky.  Paper is too small and rough to render them in any convincing detail. 

Towards the Plateau
pastel on black-toned w/c paper

Yep - another road shot.  I love this section of Hwy 89, where the road is straight but rises and falls as it contours the gentle dips in the land.  The eastern edge of the Kaibab Plateau is seen in the distance.  Backlit clouds grace the sky.  


  1. Your work is wonderful - I think it's the turquoise sky!

  2. Don't put your efforts down, Sonya - I like these. You have a grasp of this terrain that shows through whether in oils or pastels.

    You are skilled in rendering and make your scenes look effortless.

  3. Helen - thanks! I love turquoise skies, and often deviate from the reference colors to paint them. I need to do some turquoise skies in my oils, actually!

    Casey - thanks so much. My love of this land is deep-seated, probably bordering on obsession, so it pleases me to know that it is coming through in these paintings to viewers. To that end, they are almost effortless; the issues come with limitations in either my materials or handling of them.

    You are right, though - I really do need to move to bigger sized canvases/papers. I'm working on that :).


Your thoughtful comments add value to this blog - thank you so much for taking the time to leave them!

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