Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Between Showers"

Pastel on UArt, 12x12

I have painted several views of this salt marsh at Tide View Preserve, but this painting was the result of my first opportunity to paint there when the tide was full.  At low tide, the view of these two palms is completely different, and there is only a little trickle of water.  I was impressed with the dramatic reflections, but I struggled with the composition and balance.  I finally cropped the painting from 12x18 to 12x12 to eliminate the distractions.

I changed some of the values and added deeper shadows among the underbrush, darkened the water, and cropped the painting to 12x12.  I am pleased with the result and the square format.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"After the Shower"

Pastel on UArt, 9x6, en plein air

The First Coast Pastel Society joined the First Coast Plein Air Painters for a paint out at Tide Veiw Preserve, a local park with board walks over the salt marsh. This piece was painted between passing showers and intermittent clouds and sunshine.

This piece was painted using a limited pallet in order to emphasize the clear, bright colors of the salt marsh. I used purple and lavender to tone the green especially in the distance and in the shadows. At the end of summer, the spartina is so green and yellow that it is almost blinding when it is washed by rain.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Morning Song"

Pastel on Canson Touch, 14x10

In late August on the marsh, the rising sun orchestrates a song for the morning.  The clear light creates the harmony by mixing the blazing, bright color of the day with the soft, muted tones of the shadows and distance.  At this time of year, the spartina grass is an intense green of almost blinding purity, and the tips of the long blades begin to turn to a golden yellow.  The taller cord grass begins to fade with touches of red and light brown.  When the tide is high early in the day, the water is like a mirror for the grass and distant trees.  The sky has a few fluffy, indistinct clouds that lose themselves in pink and lavender near the horizon.

I have set out to capture that image and atmosphere in this picture.