Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dunes Ascending

I started with three pencil design sketches which I reduced to 2-value sketches.  Now I need to decide on one and proceed to a small color sketch or two to decide on color and temp.  I'm working from a couple of photos and memory.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dunes at Sunrise

Pastel on Wallis, 6x9

This work is a color and value sketch with the anticipation it will become a larger, more formal piece.

I began with a pancil sketch to which I added value markers and notation lines to indicate the movement I wanted to achieve.

After that, I did a watercolor underpaining to indicate basic color and value relationships.  Loved the bloom that happened in the sky. 

From that I added the basic pastel color scheme for the sky, the ocean, and the sand.

The next step was to emphasize the deeper values, and added the structure of the bushes and grass.

I'm pleased enough with the result to use this for a larger work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Sea Oats

Pastel on Wallis, 12x9

The view of the Gulf of Mexico through the dunes at Cape San Blas provides a perfect state to display the aqua of the Gulf against the white sand of the dunes through the ever-changing tangles of sea oats and beach vegetation.  This view holds a special attraction for me because of the fond memories I have of coming here to fish in the surf with my son and father-in-law

As a painting, I find a great challenge to balance the deep shadows of the dune shrubs and grass set against the blazing white of the sand.  Beyond the sand and grass, the turquoise of the Gulf presents its own emphasis and statement of presence.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thru the Sea Oats Again - Sketch

12 Colors for 12 Minutes (plus one burnt sienna pastel pencil for stems)
Pastel on Richeson, 7.5.5

Sketch from notes, photos, and drawings of the beach at Cape San Blas.  I like this composition and the color sketch in broad terms.  The 12 color limit shows my need for a broader range of blues for the water and sky, more yellows and warm greens for the sea oats, clearer colors for the sand with a broader range of lights blues and lavenders.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunrise 1

Sketch - 12 pastels in 12 minutes

This view of the sunrise at Jacksonville Beach has intrigued me for quite some time, so I finally decided to try doing it in pastels.  I started with a much-cropped view and a limited palette in order to simplify the design and colors.

I hope this will develop into a larger, more detailed work while keeping the freshness I see in this sketch.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tide Pond, Sketch

Pastel on Richeson sanded, 6.6x5.5

12 colors for 12 minutes

Quick sketch of color and composition for a larger work.  I have not been in my studio for more than a week, and I can see in this sketch the lack of practice and attention.

The scene is a view of a tidal pond at Castaway Island Preserve.  This view is from the boardwalk, and the water is visible only for a few minutes at high tide.  In the morning light the cedar trees form a back drop to the marsh grasses.  The gray-green of the trees makes the bright green of the new spring marsh grass flash against the remains of the yellows and ochers of the winter.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sketch for Prairie Road

12 Pastels in 12 Minutes on Richeson, 6x7

I worked this piece from a couple of photos of the road that leads to Dinesen Prairie.  It goes between fields and past a plumb and mulberry thicket to get to the prairie.  This dirt road evokes so many memories with it's loneliness and expectation.

Having done the 12 in 12 sketch, I realize that some things will be needed in a larger work.  The picture has no focal point and the lines all send the eye to the right off the page.  This is the ideal place for one or two figures walking on the road to be the focal point and to keep the eye within the picture.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fence Row

Pastel 5.5x7 on Richeson White

This is a veiw of a fence row that caught my eye because of the dramatic forms and spaces with the craggy tree and thicket.

This was done with the 12 minutes/12 colors PLUS 2 minutes/2 pastel pencils.  I added the 2 minutes to get the details for a larger work later.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Geen on Green


Pastel on Richeson White, 5x7

This is a new effort for me.  Painting in 10 minutes was a good exercise, but I wanted just a little more time, and though I like the limited palette, I felt I needed more than 10 colors.  So I'm trying out 12 colors for 12 minutes.  This is the first effort under those rules.

The photo behind this was all green, but I wanted to experiment with colors other than green.  In this I used purple, mauve, and yellow.  I like the color and values that resulted.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hunting in the Tall Grass

Pastel on Self-sanded Arches, 15x11

In the morning, the views across the marsh to the line of pine and cedar trees are always full of mystery and contrast.

The summer is coming and the colors are turning from reds and brown to green and gold. The cedar trees provide the solid, deep shadows and the various kinds of marsh grass throw in the color. The pine trees stand above oaks, cedars, and underbrush as “tree herders” watching over their ragged and tangled charges.

June 2, 2013, I added the egret and changed the name. At low tide, the egrets hunt small fish and crabs in the few puddles that remain of the tide, and they hunt lizards in the tall grass. The original painting was done en plein air at Castaway Island Preserve, Jacksonville and submitted under the title "Ragged Marsh," but by adding the egret, I reclassified this as a studio piece.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pellicer Creek, Windy and Bright

Pastel on Wallis, 12x9

Plein air painting at Princess Preserve, Flagler County Park.
FCPS, last paint out before summer vacation

This view along the edge of the marsh toward the mouth of Pellicer Creek features an old, abandoned boat shed.  The rusted steel roof intrigued me, but the emphasis for this painting is the windy sky and the broken water of the bay and creek.  The atmosphere I wanted to capture was sun shining on the far bank while the near ground was in partial shadow from the passing clouds.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stay on the Path

And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.

Jeremiah 6:16a

Pastel on Self-sanded Arches, 15x11

I am always inspired by the beach and the dunes in the early morning.  The air is still and bright.  There is the promise of heat later, and the sea breeze will come, but for these special few moments, all is cool and quiet.

Beach conservation has come a long way, and most people stay on the old paths through the dunes.  The footprints from the previous day remain, but most of the dunes are pristine and untracked.

I developed the basic design of this piece for a 10-minute sketch.  I completed it with memories of experiences and a combination of a number of reference photos.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dunes 3 - 10-Minute Study

Pastel on UArt, 9x6

I did another study of a passage through the dunes to the beach using a photo for reference.  When the 10 minutes were up, I was ready to throw the picture out.  It was a true disappointment, but when I looked at it this morning, I saw some chance of salvation.  After about 20 seconds and a few minor strokes, I think this is a good start for a larger work.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beach Vista - 10-Minute Study

Pastel 9x6, UArt

On this study, I tried to keep within the 12 color limit, but I found that a handicap more than a challenge.  On future studies, I may up that number to 15 or possibly 20 depending on the complexity of the the colors I need to represent.

I need to concentrate on variations and contrasts in value and temp as much or more than the nuances of color as shade.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Light Calls - 10-Minute Study

Pastel on UArt 400, 9x6

Working quickly with a limited palette of 12 pastels. I find that I would like to add a few different colors and values, but I'm going to learn to stay with my original choices.

Every day in every way....  Who can tell.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dunes 2 - 10-Minute Study

Dunes 2 - Pastel on UArt 400, 9x6

10-Minute study of another shot of the dunes at Jax Beach.  I'm working with a different photo that includes more of the dune face - experimenting with composition.

Today's notes - the greens are too dull, need more shades of blue and purple.  I like the composition, but the values need to be deeper, darker on the left and right.  I realized when the time was up, I had not used the deep brown which I had planned to push the values.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dunes - 10-Minute Study


Dunes - 9x6 on UArt 600

This is my first effort in a 10-minute study with 20 pieces of chalk (or fewer) under the inspiration of Maggie Price.

Process - I select my subject, select 15-20 pieces of pastel, set my timer, and after some serious reflection and a plan, I hit the START.  When the timer goes off, I stop, regardless.

Evaluation - I need to make a broader selection of values within two or three hues.  Use the broad side of the pastel more than the point.  Concentrate on abstract forms and shapes, then add a few details.  Use of time and the basic plan were OK.

Hey, with this start, I can only get better!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ragged Marsh

Pastel on sanded Arches, 15x11
Plein air painting at Castaway Island Preserve, Jacksonville.

In the morning, the views across the marsh to the line of pine and cedar trees are always full of mystery and contrast. 
The summer is coming and the colors are turning from reds and brown to green and gold.  The cedar trees provide the solid, deep shadows and the various kinds of marsh grass throw in the color.  The pine trees stand above oaks, cedars, and underbrush as “tree herders” watching over their ragged and tangled charges.

Note on cameras: I use a Canon ELPH 320 HS, but I have not been completely satisfied with the color and contrast of photos of my paintings.  I did some experimenting this afternoon with manual settings and found the results were much more satisfactory.  I set the camera for "cloudy" daylight.  The colors are still slightly too green, but I can adjust that with just a touch from Photoshop.

Cord Grass Hammock

Pastel on sanded Arches, 15x11
Plein air painting at Castaway Island Preserve, Jacksonville.

At some time in the past a small channel was dug through the salt marsh, and some of the piles of sand beside the channel have become small islands dominated by marsh grass and small cedar trees.  This painting is one of those small “hammock” that dot the Castaway Island marsh.
When I started this painting, the tide was full.  The sea breeze ruffled the water keeping the reflections indistinct but filled with color.  The cord grass is just starting to show the green of summer, but the spartina in the background has already turned to its summer colors.
After I got home and looked at the painting on my easel, I decided to add the hint of the cedar trunk on the right in order to tie the trees into the foreground.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NuPastel Light-fast Test


I have completed a 90-day light fast test of NuPastels.  I placed the chart in full sun from January 16 through April 15.  Note that this is not a scientific test, but simply a test for my own use and verification of which colors held, which faded, and how much fade was noticeable.

For my observations I used a number system 0 - 5

0 - no change
1 - slight change in value
2 - significant change in value
3 - slight change in hue and value
4 - significant change in hue and value
5 - complete fade

If you contact me by e-mail, I can send you a complete spreadsheet of my observations.

1 203 0 Burnt Sienna
2 204 0 Sandalwood
3 205 0 Peacock Blue
4 206 1 Carmine Madder
5 207 1 Ceep Chrome Yellow
6 208 0 Sap Green
7 209 0 Warm Grey
8 212 3 Orange
9 213 0 Sanguine
10 214 2 Persian Rose
11 215 0 Turquoise Blue
12 216 3 Maroon
13 217 0 Lemon Yellow
14 218 0 Veronese Green
15 219 0 Warm Medium Gray
16 222 3 Burnt Orange
17 223 0 Burnt Umber
18 224 0 Violet
19 225 0 Iron Blue
20 226 2 Scarlet
21 227 0 Corn Yellow
22 228 0 Hooker's Green
23 229 0 Black
24 233 0 Raw Sienna
25 234 1 Red Vilet
26 235 0 Light Blue
27 236 3 Carmine
28 238 0 Emerald Green
29 239 0 Warm Light Ggey
30 243 0 Light Ochre
31 244 1 Blue Violet
32 245 1 Light Turquoise Blue
33 246 3 Rose Pink
34 247 0 Light Naples Yellow
35 248 0 Olive Green
36 249 0 Warm Very Light Grey
37 255 0 Azure Blue
38 254 1 Hyacinth Violet
39 256 2 Crimson
40 257 0 Deep Cadmium Yellow
41 258 0 Viridian Green
42 259 0 Cood Deep Grey
43 263 0 Indian Red
44 265 0 Ultramarine Blue
45 266 4 Pale Vermillion
46 267 0 Colonial Yellow
47 268 0 Light Sap Green
48 273 0 Tuscan Red
49 275 0 Deep Blue
50 276 1 Flesh Pink
51 277 0 Ivory
52 278 0 Dark Green
53 279 0 Cool Medium Grey
54 283 0 Van Dyke Brown
55 285 0 Indigo Blue
56 286 5 Madder Pink
57 288 1 Pistachio Green
58 289 0 Cool Light Grey
59 293 0 Sepia
60 295 0 Prussian Blue
61 296 4 Salmon Pink
62 298 0 Bottle Green
63 299 0 Cool Very Light Grey
64 304 2 Orchid
65 305 0 Spruce Blue
66 306 4 Orchid Pink
67 308 0 Palm Green
68 313 0 Nut Brown
69 314 4 Old Lilac
70 316 2 Old Rose
71 318 0 Citrine Green
72 324 0 Plum
73 333 0 Titan Brown
74 336 3 Carnival Red
75 343 0 Rust 
76 345 0 Harbor Blue
77 346 1 Burgundy
78 348 0 Endive
79 353 0 Cordovan
80 355 0 Cocoa Brown
81 363 0 Garnet
82 365 0 Ceylon Blue
83 366 2 Shell Pink
84 368 0 Smoke Green
85 376 1 Peach
86 378 0 Erin Green
87 383 0 Coral
88 405 0 Blue Haze
89 406 3 Flamingo
90 408 0 Fern Gren
91 415 0 Tile Blue
92 416 1 Cark Rose
93 418 0 Neptuen Green
94 428 0 Beech Green
95 448 0 Eden Green
Legend - numbers 0-5
0- No change
1- Some Change in Value
2- Significant Change in Value
3- Some Change in Hue and Value
4- Significant Change in Hue and Value
5- Complete Fade in Hue and Value