>Snowfall on Evergreens

The planning and original block-in for this painting started way back in January, but due to an illness that is taking longer to recover from, I couldn’t finish it until early April. I tried working on it on the good days but found that I kept losing my focus and changing things so this one turned out way differently than the original plan. I guess that’s what the artistic journey is all about. Don’t know why oil painting has to be more challenging when you not feeling well, thank goodness for soft pastels.

Snowfall on Evergreens

Snowfall on Evergreens

>First Two Works with Soft Pastels

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After growing tired of using those scratchy hard pastels I decided to try the softer varieties and after much research about the health hazards and a good deal of colour and value comparisons I ordered Unison and Terry Ludwig landscape sets. The Unison’s are as wonderful as expected and the Ludwig’s are even better if you like their soft fluffy texture. I’m finding that the harder Unison pastels work better under the softer variety since they can lift the super soft pigment right off. 

I also tried the Belgium Mist Wallis paper and the Ampersand Pastelbord and love both surfaces for entirely different reasons. Wallis is a super toothy sand paper that can take ridiculous amounts of pastel which does appeal to the oil painter within. The Pastelbord on the other hand is far more akin to drawing on paper with a little more tooth and I think it would work very nicely for oil pastel and pencil art if you really like to layer those colours. However, it works wonderfully for soft pastel as well but it won’t take as many layers and neither does it faithfully hold onto the pastel making far more likely to smudge. 

I also love working on a hard surface so I will mount a sanded paper on foamboard or some kind of non-warping surface and try Richard McKinley’s wet-underpainting technique. This should also make framing much easier since I can bypass that dreaded matboard thing and all the related gadgets.
  Here is my first soft pastel on Wallis:
Spring Creek 12×18″ Pastel on Wallis
And my first pastel on Pastelbord:
Woodland Garden Path 11×14″ Pastel on Board

>My First Post

>Blogging is a whole new experience for me so I hardly know where to begin. Since this is all about my art work and artistic journey, then it seems fitting to show you some of my work that I completed prior to the blog.

I began painting in oils a little over a year ago after a 13 year hiatus from painting; needless to say, I was a little rusty. Much to my amazement, I did remember how to use a paint brush, must have been muscle memory. However, those first 10 paintings didn’t turn out so well, due to inferior student grade materials, and a general lack of compositional know-how. Things are improving though after a good deal of research and help from the people at Wet Canvas and much personal trial & error.

I have also been learning a good deal about landscape painting from the online classes by the award winning Canadian landscape painter Johannes Vloothuis who can be found at:  http://improvemypaintings.com/.  Without Johannes instruction, I think my artistic development wouldn’t be getting very far at all. Nevertheless, I still have far to go in regards to landscape painting.

I also like to draw and paint plants such as orchids and lilies and have been working with coloured pencil, hard pastel and pastel pencils. Unfortunately, I find that I need to put down the pencils since they are difficult to use due to a painful shoulder. So now I am beginning to paint with soft pastels such as Unisons and Terry Ludwigs, and so far they seem to be much easier to work with. More about that it my next post.
Here are some examples of artwork that I have completed:
Phag Bouley Bay hard pastel on paper 11×15

Paph Michael Koopowitz coloured pencil on paper 11×15

Paph Lady Rothschild coloured pencil on paper 11×14

Yellow OT Lilies Coloured Pencil on paper 11×14

Pink Lily coloured pencil on paper 11×14

Maple Rooted hard pastel on paper 11×15

Forest Spirits hard pastel on paper 15×23

Towards the Green oil pastel on paper 12×18
Two Willows Oil on Canvas 16×20