This tiny pastel painting (2.5″ x 3.5″) on textured matt board was inspired by my morning drive to work. I have used both soft pastels and pastel pencils on this study. Below is the grey scale photo which helps me gauge the tonal range within the composition. Also below is the black and white sketch I made from the original photo.
This landscape study leans towards the bold and abstract. During my study years in Dunedin I was drawn to the works of Franz Kline I feel this is echoed in this study. I find the practice of applying dark bold line, in whatever medium, is both satisfying and enhances and consolidates my intent of the work.
Here are my working drawings that lead up to the ‘Lowland Study’.
Another small 5″ x 7″ study, with a base of dark reds, orange and pink which I dry blended, and layered with dark blue, peach, cream, dull greens and purples.
I know I am not alone in wanting to maintain my creative practice whilst working full-time in another field. With this in mind I have begun to work within my time frame; learning new techniques on-line Karen Margulis – pastel artist and testing out my new found knowledge in short bursts of activity. The following images are some pastel landscape techniques I have been playing with along with some brief notes on my learnings:
- Moving from a paper surface (Canson paper) to a textured board improves the ability to layer pastels and adds textural interest
- Working from a ‘notan’ – a small black and white study, helps to focus on contrast and values which add interest
- The need to have a ‘pathway’ from foreground to a ‘destination’ point
- Choosing your palette of colours before commencing your pastel painting saves time
- Working on smaller ‘studies’ rather than trying to complete a finished piece frees you up to explore
I hope these notes were of value to you. I will endeavour to share my new learnings and thoughts over the next few months. If it’s just 10-15 minutes a day, it is worthwhile and you will see results! Thank you for your continued support I very much appreciate it.
Had a lovely day tutoring Beth in her wonderful home. We started with a quick sketch using coloured pastel and went on to scale up this beautiful blue iris onto Canson paper. Although an accomplished potter in her own right, this was Beth’s first time using soft pastel and she was a natural! We later took a look at a miniature still life using watercolour pencils on watercolour paper. A great day with lots achieved!