Between the Trees

What caught my eye here are the shadows across the roadway.  I just recently read that shadows are essentially the color of whatever is beneath them.  Thus, shadows on green grass are darker green; shadows on a sandy path are darker shades of sand.  The blue sky also impacts shadows, as does the sun, such as filtering through the leaves.  Distance is demonstrated (as always!) by less detail and lighter, perhaps bluer, things in the distance.   Here, I was interested in the cast shadows along with trying to catch the flickering sunshine through the leaves.

Winter Trees at Dawn

Second pastel.

Here, I used a medium blue paper and tried out different techniques, such as circular blending with the pastel itself, a torchon, fingers. I used vine charcoal and charcoal pencils for some of the finer lines.

The snow on the trees was an interesting challenge. To accomplish it, I scribbled some pure white pastel onto it, and then used the tip of the torchon to blend around it.

Compositionally, I think there is something missing here . . . I also think the midground could be a bit different to convey a sense of depth.

For a second bout with pastels, I can say I am enjoying what I am doing, even though I have to dress like a hazmat worker! (I wear a mask to keep the dust down.)

Winter Aspens

I am really rather pleased with this gouache – haven’t done any since last year!  When I am painting in gouache, each one begins okay, with clear ideas in my head.  And then it gets really and truly hideous.  And then, it changes, almost by itself, and comes together in a way that watercolor doesn’t.  I don’t know how to describe it, but the process is quite magical – just like snowy woods in the late afternoon.

In the Cold, In the North

The end of 2019 is here, the Christmas season is winding down, and 2020 approaches.  I have not done much painting in weeks except for a gouache for my SIL as a present . . . I thought a simple watercolor would be a good place to begin a return to painting.

Interestingly, when I have not painted for awhile, I don’t get caught up in the same issues I do when I paint a lot.  Why is this?  I think it is because I am doing it for the simple pleasure of a watercolor – not to accomplish a goal or something.  Hopefully this element of innocence can be called upon for future works.

Have a wonderful New Year 2020 everyone!