Tanglewood (Pastels)

Another series of three to emerge from this Land of Pandemica, where house arrest prevails and imagination runs wild!

I took this picture about a month ago, just as the shelter-in-mandate order came down from on high.  I really like this picture because of its moodiness and the brightness of the leaves.  It looks pretty mysterious, but in reality that is an effect of the editing.  Still, I like it enough to give it an attempt for a number of reasons!  There is a rhythm in the trees and their curves.  The leaves on the ground lie fairly horizontally, while the green leaves are vertical.  All these conspire to challenge me . . . So, without further ado, below is the first attempt, in pastels as today is dedicated to pastels!

As you can see, I moved the leaves from vertical to a bit more diagonal.  I also added some “stuff” to the lower left corner as the original photo was pretty dark and lacking in detail.  The floor of last year’s leaves are more orange than beige.  I tried to pay attention to my marks – the stroke of the pastel stick – as well as to doing some negative painting to help the lighter areas stand out.

I am a fairly pleased with this painting.  Pastels are more forgiving than either gouache or watercolor – especially watercolor! – and because of this, I can think about contrast and structure a bit as I go along.  It may make the final one (watercolor) easier to do after the next one, which will be in gouache.


Lavender Field

Pastels are getting to be addictive.  Unfortunately, this scan for some reason came out a bit too yellow-green, but I wasn’t interesting in putzing with it!

I tried a few different things here – in particular how I made marks.  Vertical and horizontal to contrast.  Obviously the lavender is vertical and tilty, but in between, horizontal helps create some interest.  The trees I used a torchon to scumble and blend the colors, as well as push shapes into the sky.

I know I am getting addicted to this – I just ordered a roll of Uart 600 grit sanded paper – 56 x 10 yards.  That should last awhile!  This was done on a 9 x 12 inch bit of Canson Mi Teintes, which is a very nice paper, but unsanded.  I like them both.