Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Across the Pond"

Pastel on sanded gator board, 24x20

Asking for help!
This painting has been on my easel for more than two weeks, and it's taking on a life of its own - haunting me, really.  I'm putting in the accents, details, but I've hit a block. I wanted to focus on the duck box, lower rights, but it seems to add too much detail for the looseness of the rest of the piece.  My first inclination is to take it out, but then, I like the focus.  Help!

Notes added in response to Facebook comments.  I can't tell you what a delight it has been for me to hear from all of you!
  1. Value issues, especially with the path.  I will fix that.  I need to both deepen the value and vary it from near to far.  Temperature may also be a problem.
  2. Original sketch and reference photos were done on a cloudy day (see previous post from Arboretum).  I went back a few days later, and the trees had more color, but it clouded over again.  With no direct light source, it creates problems. 
  3. Trees trunks on the right have been defined - the ones on the left are still just undercoat.  I'm debating about how to add more variations in light and shadow on the trunks.
  4. I need to deepen the value under and behind the duck box.  Duck box is too cool for surroundings.
  5. Pond expanse - my original idea was to use 4 relatively equal horizontal expanses, pond, near bank, far bank, and background trees broken and tied together by the trees.  I knew it would be difficult, but I took it as a personal challenge.  But that doesn't not seem to work too well.  The pond is covered in lily pads which I have not added.  I plan to expand the shoreline forward, break the pond into 2-3 areas of lilies and open water.  I hope that makes the areas less similar and boring.
  6. Fork in the path - I see the problem, but I want to keep the fork.  Too many people visit this site and would recognize it.  I can, however, lessen the drawing power by changing the color and value near to far.
I have been looking at this piece off an on for two weeks - work on it 10 minutes here and 30 minutes there.  It's gotten to be a lumpy potato in many ways.  Thank you all for your great suggestions. This is the kind of discourse I love.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Autumn Poplars - Aroboretum"

Pastel on Wallis 9x12

This is my effort at the First Coast Pastel Society's paint-out at the Jacksonville Arboretum.  The day started with breaking clouds and a little sunshine, but by 10:30 it was overcast.  Even with no sun, the light seemed to change every five minutes.

I decided to use a warm pallet to counter the gray of the day.  With the low light, I had had to work hard to create values and value contrasts.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Dunes at Talbot

Pastel on sanded board; 14x11

Available, click here

This painting is a view of the dunes back from the beach at Talbot Island State Park.  Oddly enough, these dunes are on the other side of  A1A, and I did the drawing and reference photos from the shoulder of the highway - standing in a bumper crop of sand spurs.

In this piece, I have punched the values and colors in order to add interest and drama.  I limited the detail in the foreground so that I could emphasize the dune ridge.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dunes - on the easel

On the Easel - pastel 14x11, Dunes

I've been away from my easel for too long - needed to get something working, well...  this is the start.

Picture was taken without a tripod - the color is true, but...