Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Soft Pastel Painting

Subject for the pastel painting: my photo of Millbrook Marsh in the early morning fog.
Step one:
Paper - Canson Mi-Teintes(R) pastel paper - color "sand".
Pastels - soft pastels by Rembrandt(R), Prismacolor(R), and Sennelier(c). Using charcoal, lightly draw simple shapes to indicate areas of light/dark.

Step two:
Cross check the drawing by turning the drawing and the photo upside down.

Step three:
Lay in the underpainting with bright tones since this a fog scene. The underpainting will contribute to the final painting by virtue of layering of colors over one another to achieve the final effect.

Step four:
Begin to lay in the lights and darks - begin with lightly applying color so the layering will be successful. Too much pigment on the Mi Tense paper will create a dusty buildup that is likely to become muddy or simply fall off the paper.

Step four:
Tone down the underpainting in all areas and deepen the shadows/darker areas.

Step five:
Lay in more fog using several colors of grays, blues, and lavenders.

Step six:
Add some details and then wait for a few days to see what, if anything, needs changing. Such as changing the color value of an area to make it come forward in importance or recede and draw less attention; adding a new color to make some area sparkle; adding more detail - the photo has sticks in the water and brushes between the viewer and the scene. These were deliberately left out to simplify the composition. It's Soooooooo easy to over-work a pastel and end up with "mud."


Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing your process, are such a gifted the nasturtium, too!

Mary Manahan

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you turn the sketch upside down. I cut most of my papercuttings upside down.

Gorgeous painting!

Anonymous said...

Love the photo and the pastel, you're multi-talentedfor sure!

Pat Dolan said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm "playing" in my studio again this afternoon!

Justin Dancing Hawk said...

I don't understand why you put bright color in the underpainting when it needs to be toned down afterwards! My instinct is to lay in muted tones faintly to begin with and not have to fight the underpainting to tone it down. I am experimenting with doing fog in my current piece - "Maine Focus" pastel on Velour paper. Check out my Video on my website - & I'd love to hear your feedback