It was time to paint a larger pastel landscape, in fact it’s probably the largest that I’ve done to date. With spring just around the corner it seemed time to create a pastel landscape based on my river/trees theme and I wanted to feature both deciduous and coniferous trees. The cooler pinks, violets, yellows and greens seem to be the best choice for a softer spring color selection. I also used low key values since the sun is just thinking of peeking over the trees on a cool overcast spring morning.
Early Spring Morn, Pastel on Wallis Sanded Paper, 18×24″
This is the original picture; I decided that there was just too much water in the foreground and the composition was just too symmetrical so I cropped it:
Original Reference Photo
I used Wallis Belgium Mist which certainly does take many layers of color providing a chance to create a rich and textured tapestry of color, something only the Belgium Mist will allow. I hope Kitty Wallis will continue to make this paper for years to come.
The original reference picture came from a collection of high quality photo’s that I downloaded from Johannes Vloothuis for a minimal fee of $20. He has over 700 pictures of various landscape scenes and buildings including scenes from Mexico and Cape Cod. Worth checking out especially if you’re as bad at finding pictures with a descent composition to work from as I am: http://www.improvemypaintings.com/Reference%20Photos.html
Ever since childhood, Wales UK has always held a certain appeal to me, something that I can’t easily explain but it’s always been there nevertheless. My mother’s family may have come from there originally but my own research points more in the direction of Yorkshire, England than Wales but the family migrated to Canada back in the colonial days so the history has probably gotten a little muddled. I watched BBC video about the old Megalithic standing stones of the UK and when the host started talking about the Welsh history and showing the exceptionally hauntingly beautiful and lonely landscape I knew I had to get a few stills and work from those.
This painting was based on Cerrig Duon in mid Wales and I left the standing stones out since I was more interested in capturing the feeling of the landscape and the beautiful sky at sunrise. Adding the rainfall over the hills was artistic license at work since I don’t believe that it was raining in the documentary; however, I’ve heard that it rains a good deal in that part of the UK so I’m probably not far from the truth. I used a fairly cool and low-key value system in the hopes of capturing the eerie feeling that I was picking up from the video. One day I’ll have to visit this place!
Rain Along the Hills at Sunrise, 12 x 18”, Soft Pastel on Wallis Pro White Paper