New materials new discoveries…

My focus this week has been on small floral studies, a daily challenge to develop my gouache technique but also my discipline to show up to the page. You can find these basic studies on my Instagram page.

I had purchased several new soft pastel sets and was excited to experiment.  Very pleased with these three works as I feel they are birthing a new dimension to my semi abstracted landscape work. They feel a little bit urban, which is purely coincidental.

“Travelling Through” soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper. App. 10″ x 8″
“Travelling Through II” soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper. App 10″ x 9.5″
“First Visit” soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper. App 10″ sq.

Workshop in the stunning South of New Zealand.

After years of not tutoring face to face, I have finally started taking art workshops again and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it! I was asked by the Southern Pastel Artists based in Invercargill, to share my process for semi-abstracted landscape painting.

“Journey Southward” 21″ x 7.5″ mixed media and soft pastel on Fabriano Artistico paper – demonstration piece.

We had a fabulous weekend and the results were amazing. Abstraction is not as straight forward as one may think with some challenging decision making along with the use of mixed media.

Thank you to Southern Pastel Artists for inviting me down, I had forgotten how beautiful the South of New Zealand is.

An afternoon of sketching in Ohau, New Zealand

This post documents the initial stages of capturing my landscape studies.

It takes very few lines to remind myself just what attracted me to the focal point of my landscape. They may look like random scribbles but for me they contain a succinct reminder of the contours of the land, texture of trees and bushes, and horizon line.

A little unprepared I managed to find a biro and jotter pad in my glovebox … anything will suffice!

The images below are cropped and their contrast and colours accentuated. These sit side by side the quick sketches, referencing colour and texture.

Below are the working drawings. I didn’t use the photos for reference preferring the freedom and spontaneity of the sketches.

Watersoluble Pencil and Watercolor
Adding colour with watercolour trying to remember how the light fell… should have noted this down in the sketches.
Last layer soft pastel
“Where Water Meets Fire”
“Brambles and Boundaries”

The Zorn Palette – experimenting with a limited palette.

Anders Zorn was born in Sweden in February 1860, the Zorn palette being accredited to him. The palette consists of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre and cadmium red. Although very limiting without the inclusion of a blue (black being it’s replacement) it never-the-less offers quite a good range of colours and tones. I wanted to try a limited palette so that my focus is mostly directed at mark-making and composition, and will be working further with this in my landscape work. I attempted to match my pastels to the palette and believe there is enough here to work with.

The original acrylic sketch (featured) was first worked in a bright acrylic palette before the addition of the muted tones from the Zorn palette layered over the top, process shots below.

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