It took me the longest time to come up with a title for this piece, and I changed it again as I was writing this part of the post. And yes, it's another highway scene; I can't seem to stop painting them.
pastel on Strathmore 500-series paper
The contrast of snow against this road-cut section of sedimentary rock slope caught my eye. The snow forms delicate patterns down the face of the uplifted rock, helping to define the curves and grooves within the eroded facade of pink and red sandstone, decorating it. I really like the juniper along the distal edge of the flat land plane, so I kept some there, as well as a few tenacious individuals residing on the slope itself. Meanwhile, the sun awaits the traveler just up the road and around the bend. There is a quiet drama in this scene.
Unlike the last painting, also on Strathmore paper, this time I decided to use blending. The paper was a mid-value brown, and I didn't feel visible paper would enhance this painting. In one of Johannes' live painting demos with pastel, he recommended the use of a styrofoam packing peanut to blend the pastel with. I decided to try it, and it was great, giving me more control over blended edges than my fingers could. Working in this paper definitely requires some finesse, as it doesn't accept nearly as many layers as sanded grounds do, and I see areas that could use some finessing of the snow lines. I'm probably a sucker for punishment to keep using it, but it does keep me on my toes as mistakes aren't easily forgiven.
And, here are a few photos from this afternoon's sky, taken when I was photographing the painting. Temperatures were warmer, and snow clouds were blowing through the mountain areas earlier in the day. It was a good day for cloudspotting .