It Was a Cold Winter Morning

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

It Was a Cold Winter Morning, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 12×18″


Pine’s In the Mist

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

Pine’s In the Mist, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 12×18″

Impression of a Red Maple

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

Impression of a Red Maple, Pastel on Pastel Paper, 9×12″

Woodland Fire

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

Woodland Fire, Pastel on Wallis Pastel Paper, 12×18”

Japanese Maple in the Autumn

I have two beautiful Japanese Maples growing in my garden, one is the burgundy Bloodgood Maple that changes to a bright red in the autumn and the other is a small cut-leaf variety called Ever Red which also turns a bright red so I have affection for bright red maples. Therefore I decided to use some vibrant reds and oranges for the foliage of this tree and like the way it turned out. Some of my work is much brighter than it used to be. I used Terry Ludwig and Unison Pastels on Wallis Pro White Paper in the 12×18” size.

Japanese Maple in the Autumn

Japanese Maple in the Autumn, Pastel on Paper, 12×18″

Spring Walk

I found a spring themed painting I did a few months ago so it might be a little out of season here in the middle of summer but thought I would post about it anyway. Pink is the dominate color and I’m really not sure what these trees are although I think that they might be cherry trees. I wanted to simplify the forms and reduce the amount of detail and make this a little more abstract and I think that I have succeeded with this objective. This puts me in mind of a spring day just when the sun comes out after a rain storm. I used my favourite Terry Ludwig and Unison Pastel combination again including a couple pinks from that scary Ludwig Vibrant set which is taking me some time to get used too however I do like to enliven and warm up my paintings with these colors too.

Spring Walk

Spring Walk, pastel on paper, 9×12″

Spring Tree in Pink Study

I completed this study after getting the new Ludwig Vibrant and Maggie Price Essential Grays pastel sets and find that those vibrant pinks take some getting used to. I’m learning to like the colours but they are so different than the softer earthy tones that I usually use, but I wanted to liven up my pastel palette a bit and this set certainly does the trick. The Essential Grays is a very nice too although those lightest colours still aren’t light enough for me; however, it is an endlessly useful set.

Spring Tree in Pink Sudy

Spring Tree in Pink Sudy, Pastel of Uart Paper

The painting itself is composed mostly from a few colours from the Essential Grays, Vibrants and Plen Air set. I wanted to capture the mighty size of this tree which can be difficult in such a small space but I hope that I managed to capture the majesty and some of the beauty. I don’t know what kind of tree this is although it might be a crabapple; however, the beautiful pink and burgundy colours attracted my eye.

My new sets of Terry Ludwig Vibrants and Essential Grays

My new sets of Terry Ludwig Vibrants and Essential Grays

Spring Serviceberry Study

Spring Serviceberry

Spring Serviceberry, Soft Pastel on Uart/Canson Board 9x12”

With spring just beginning to emerge here in Southern Ontario, I thought that it would be a great idea to do a study of a sparkling white Serviceberry tree which is a native tree or shrub in this area. There are several beautiful trees growing nearby and a few of the shrub form including one that grows on the north side of my house. The juicy red-black berries are just adored by the local bird population including my favorite pair of cardinals. It’s always a treat to look out the living room window see them sitting in the shrub devouring the berries as fast as they can before the bossy robin shows up to spoil their fun.

I found a beautiful picture online somewhere, probably Flickr, of a large specimen and decided to try a study despite the fact composition of the picture was less than impressive, hence the reason for this only qualifying as a study, that and it’s pretty small. I tried to use as many of the soft warm pink, violet and blue tones to make the white flowers stand out as much as possible without creating too much contrast. Once again this is Ludwig’s and Unison’s on Uart paper mounted on Canson Board.