I first picked up oils again about four years ago and this was one of the first paintings that I did and actually liked and triggered a memory of a natural landscape which I can’t quite identify which leaves me with a feeling of nostalgia. It has been hanging on a wall in my house ever since I finished it and I finally decided to part with it and try to sell it online. An artistic teacher had said something about how artists don’t try to paint mist and fog in their landscape paintings often enough and these atmospheric weather conditions have always held a certain attraction for me so I try to do this periodically and this was one of the first oil paintings where I practiced this. I used artist grade Windsor and Newton oil paints on a pre-stretched canvas which is also an artist grade support. After about a year and a half of painting with oils I found soft pastels and enjoy using them since they require less clean up and you get finished results much sooner or at least I usually tend not to play around with pastels as much as the oils. I also needed to put the oils down since lifting the brush up and over the level of my shoulder was painful and the whole arm would go numb and the shoulder joint would hurt like crazy! I’m hoping that the shoulder will permit me to pick up the oils again if I should feel the lure of the brush again. I pulled the oils out recently and looked them over however the desire to use them didn’t quite hit me yet hopefully it will in the future and I would like to develop a more mature style with the soft pastels as well.
This piece will be shipped sandwiched between two pieces of foam board and packed in a card board box with packing media for protection.
Morning Mist on a Northern Lake, pastel on paper, 16×20″
I was thinking about water, wind and the weather and how it would be great fun to go see the ocean and see how it spoke to me. I liked the silvery morning light and the pink and violet clouds in the sky and the contrast between the rocks and the light on the water. The water seemed fairly calm so I decided to keep the marks smooth and I blended the colors a lot and I tried to capture the movement of the water around the rocks in the foreground. I used the same Terry Ludwig, Unison and Girault Pastel combination I always use on Wallis Pro White Paper.
Silver Light on the Sea, soft pastel on paper, 12×18″
I have discovered that I like working on small seascapes and enjoy the simple, smooth strokes and planes of color involved with the subject matter instead of the more highly textured and detailed forest painting that I normally create. I really like the soft pink in the colours and the soft focus of this painting as well. I used my favourite artist quality pastels mainly Unison and Terry Ludwig pastels on Wallis Pro White Pastel paper which as a sanded surface so that it can hold the pastel dust better and prevent it from falling off.
Sunrise Over the Lake, Soft Pastel on Pastel Paper, 9×12″
I’m trying to simplify my work and make it more abstract by times and decided to try working on a seascape involving much water, mist and rocks. I actually like the ethereal softness of this piece and think that it captures a somewhat melancholy mood. I also like the pink color of the clouds just above the horizon line which has been partially obscured by the fog; I think they lend a nice warm quality to an otherwise cool painting. I used Terry Ludwig and Unison pastels and Wallis Professional White Paper.
Mist and Fog, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 9×12″
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
Living near Lake Erie has given me an appreciation of the beauty and sometimes violet nature of the lake, but it’s always been the sunsets that are the most dramatic. For some reason I never seem to have the camera with me at the right moment so when I saw a friend post a picture of a sunset along the lake on her Facebook page, I just had to ask her if I could use it. Thank you Tracy!
I also tried a new surface with the Colorfix Supertooth paper and like it well enough since it allows for a couple more layers of pastel and it has a much softer texture; however, it doesn’t go as far as Wallis Paper. Pastels include the usual Unisons and Ludwigs and the under drawing was done using Faber-Castell pastel pencils. I also used a few of the very warm colors in the Ludwig Plen Air set to make those shadows in the foreground vibrate. I probably took the greatest amount of time trying to recreate that dramatic sky leaving me to wonder why something as soft and simple looking as a sky can be so complicated. This must be the smallest pastel work that I’ve done yet and have to say that it’s great to have a piece that I actually like that isn’t so large and didn’t take so many hours to complete.
Soft Pastel on Colorfix Supertooth Paper 9×11”