Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hillside Shadows II - pastel painting

I was drawn to the reference for this because of the simple, abstracted shapes of the hills and shadows/light.   I made several compositional changes from the original reference photo, including removing the highway at the bottom and varying the positions of the dried grasses and adding the shallow gully.  The juniper shrubs and distal mesa add some depth and a sense of scale.

My goal was to work quickly and not fiddle with it; it took just over an hour after I'd blocked in the basic shapes with a charcoal pencil and white Conte pencil.  I chose the medium value blue paper intending that some would show through, so no blending at all was done, other than scumbling of layers.  Bringing some of the purple-gray used in the clouds scumbled on the blue shadows helped to harmonize it a bit.

Hillside Shadows II
12 x 16 inches
pastel on Strathmore 500-series paper

I think one of the things that draws me to this series of photos that were taken within a relatively short period of time and small geographical area is the wide variance of the topography, all of which I find visually appealing.  


  1. I respond well to these - they are very active and bright. I love them.

    You have great talent!

  2. I like this one to. Of course turquoise is such a wonderful color - so uplifting!

  3. Casey - thank you kindly, as always, for your thoughtful comments. I guess the trade-off for shorter days are brighter days, courtesy of the snow's effect on the land. I love it, and I admit I love painting it because of the beautiful colors.

    As for any talent I may have - coming from an artist such as yourself, that is a tremendous compliment. I look at all the wonderful art being created by my fellow bloggers, and realize I have a long way to go. Their work inspires me to keep working hard to improve my skills and capitalize on whatever element of talent is there.

    Helen - I'm glad you enjoy this as well. I totally agree about turquoise being an uplifting color. It's my favorite gemstone and my favorite shade of blue, hands-down.

  4. I really love this one, I've been following your paintings for the last few months and they're all wonderful, the clouds especially, but this one has the edge for me, I think the way you have gotten SO much colour into something that is technicaly "just white" is beautiful.
    Keep up the amazing works, and keep on blogging! :o)


  5. Hi Kelly - so nice to hear from you! Thanks much for your kind comments about my work and this painting. It really is quite amazing how much color exists in "white" snow as a result of light and shadow.

    It looks like you've had great success with your latest sculpture, and I hope you are keeping on with your pet portraiture - the works I saw last were fantastic!


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...