There is a certain enchanting beauty about a heavy snowfall on evergreens at the end of a winter’s day. I wanted to capture the peaceful quality of a northern Canadian landscape since this is where I’m from and we certainly have had a peaceful and long winter this year, which has brought several inches of snow although I am getting rather tired of the snow at this point in the year. This will probably be the last snow painting that I depict for a bit and plan on painting other subjects including a few spring landscapes if I can find the proper references or the wherewithal to paint.
I rarely talk about the actual application of the pastel however it might be interesting to some so…Many pastelists like to use harder pastels in the beginning and layer the softer ones over top however I don’t really like the hard pastel I have well enough to use them so I move straight to the Girault which are medium hard to the really soft one’s like Ludwig and Unison and keep layering until I either achieve what I want or I run out of layering surface. I don’t bother with an underpainting or anything fancy. It’s better to concentrate on things I need to work on improving such as the values changes, composition and color application.
Early on a Winter’s Evening
It’s the time of year when winter seems to be lessening it’s grip on this part of the world and the fluctuations of temperature are prominent and the atmosphere seems to soften and grow a little less frosty. I notice the soft apricot glow of the morning sunrise and wanted to capture that quality in the winter painting. I also like how the tree creates a nicely arching habit which creates an almost circular movement around the piece. I was also careful to simplify the color scheme to capture the subtle tonal value changes often seen in the winter months along with the soft light of early morning. This work is also about forms and how they relate to one another to create a sense of drama. I used artist quality pastels including Unison, Terry Ludwig and Girault on acid free Wallis Pastel Paper.
It Was a Cold Winter Morning, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 12×18″
A Winter’s Evening, soft pastel on paper, 9×12″
I’ve been concentrating on painting a few winter scenes lately since we have a white winter this year like we are supposed to here in Canada and it has put me in the mood to depict this type of scenery. I wanted to capture a scene at the end of a winter day so there are some warm tones in the snow which are being cast by the setting sun. I wasn’t happy with the finished painting and neither was I happy with the photograph and think that I need a new camera. I don’t like the gold light higher up behind the trees either. I also think that there should be more violet and blue shadows in the foreground to the right side of the picture. That bright blue color in the tree’s might be a little intense too. Maybe continue the snow covered shrubbery to the bottom of the painting on the left side.
I made a few changes as described and I think that this work has improved. I also was careful to adjust the photo on the computer so the contrast wasn’t as sharp and more like the actual painting. I also tried to adjust the photo so the colors were more like the actual painting although the colors are a little too soft perhaps.
Before the Changes
Finished another winter landscape painting which is set in the mountains and depicts a lovely wood cabin. I think the mark making is a little tight and needs to be looser or more expressive, for some strange reason my style keeps changing like I’m accessing different facets of my creative knowledge or style which gets a little frustrating if it’s not working or very interesting if it is working. I don’t normally paint mountains or buildings so this was a bit of a learning experience for me however I’m not completely unhappy with the work. Traditionally I haven’t painted buildings however I thought that they might add some interest and structure to my work. I used some of the colors in my new Unison Lights set of 18 and find that I really like them and they are great for winter scenes. Pastels used include Terry Ludwig and Unison on Wallis Pro White Paper.
Winter Cabin In the Mountains, pastel on pastel paper, 12×18″
I love old growth forests and wish there were more of them left around and these two pine trees seem like they might be part of one such forest which is almost perceivable in the background through the mist. I used cool tones of greens, violets, blues and grays to capture the peaceful, lush , wet and somewhat haunting atmospheric mood of this scene. I used Terry Ludwig and Unison pastels on Wallis Pro White Pastel Paper.
Pine’s In the Mist, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 12×18″
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″
All art in my Etsy shop is on sale at 15% off and you need to use coupon code BOXINGWEEK at the check out to get the percentage taken off. Sale continues until January 4, 2014. The sale does not include the items in the sale section of the shop.
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After creating some landscaping paintings of brightly colored trees I decided to paint a woodland scene with softer and more neutral gray colors. I wanted to capture the cool and tranquil atmosphere of the interior of the woodland in the beginning of autumn. I added a touch of warm orange to add a little color to the scene as well. I used artist quality pastels by Terry Ludwig and Unison on acid free pastel paper by Wallis.
Greywood by Twilight, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 12×18″
I like the contorted shape of this tree and the layers of bright red foliage which really captures the attention and reminds me of my Japanese Maples in the autumn which is a theme I have explored recently. I especially like the warm reds and purples in the cooler months. I also used cooler blues and greens with the warm reds to help balance the colors and make them less dominant and create harmony. I once again used high quality pastels including Terry Ludwig and Unison on Wallis Pro White Pastel Paper which is a high quality paper as well.
Impression of a Red Maple, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 9×12″
Now that the snow is on the ground and winter has set in I wanted to post a nice colorful picture of some maple trees that have turned a lovely bright red autumn color. There is something exciting about the autumn that can inspire a certain vibrancy of spirit in a person who is in connection with the natural world. And yet there is a kind sadness of things passing into the realm of endings until the next rebirth of life, however there are lots of warm and cheerful colors which are a welcome site once the snow is on the ground or even if it’s not in your area.
My materials include artist quality pastels by Terry Ludwig and Unison on the high quality Wallis Pro White Pastel Paper. I don’t spray my paintings due to the color change which darkens and kills the vibrancy and also due to asthma which makes it really difficult to deal with the fumes.
Woodland Fire, Pastel on Wallis Pastel Paper, 12×18”