May 29, 2010

A Calling of the Heart - pastel seascape

A Calling of the Heart (16 x 20 dry pastel) sold

My heart is visiting Bandon, Oregon, so I thought I would share this earlier seascape I painted from the magnificent beaches there. I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday weekend.

May 24, 2010

Lazy Painting!

Camano Highlights (pastel 6" x 8") sold

Feeling really lazy, I was going for the fewest strokes possible to make this painting believable. The strong colors may have been my saving grace in this one because if you click the image to enlarge it, you can see just how lazy I was.

May 18, 2010

Study of Sam, from oils to pastels

Sam, a study (oil 8 x 10) available on Etsy

Traditionally, pastels were used as studies for oil paintings. I often like to use oil paintings as studies for my pastel paintings and this one of "Sam" (named in honor of  Sam-Dolman, painter) is no exception. I still have a few refinements to make to the pastel painting which is larger and longer (12 x 24).

I really enjoy the process of working on a study. I know there are lots of things I can work out in Photoshop (I love Photoshop) but there are some things that can only happen, for me anyway, while working at the easel. Doing a study gives me a chance to really study and experiment on a particular subject in the painting without the fear of wearing out the paper or canvas.

May 16, 2010

Oh, those lovely Colors!

Turvy - crop (5 x 7 pastel) sold

When an artist uses colors correctly, it makes our eyes yearn to view the image again and again. It’s addictive. Suzanne Berry’s painting, "Ciree" is such a fine example of the skilled use of color!

Biscuit is often referred to as a black and white cat. Ha! I am pretty certain I have used nearly every color in my pastel box to get all the colors in her fur correctly represented. There is not much restraint here as I start pouring them onto one of my favorite pastel papers; Sennelier La Carte.

Once the patches of color are established with Unison and Diane Townsend pastels, I use NuPastels to blend them together and to define the fur. I don’t want to overdo the blending process; otherwise the colors will turn muddy and lose their sparkle. Eventually, I work over the entire painting, defining shapes, adjusting value and color as needed.

I will intentionally leave some of the edges undone and fuzzy to give the viewer’s eyes some resting spots and to allow her to participate in filling in the blanks. I also add a few token hairs and/or whiskers to give the “feel” of fur without actually putting in every hair. Each painting tends to dictate just how much detail is required to make the story believable. I err on the side of less is better.

This is the uncropped version of the painting:

Purrs, Sandy.

May 13, 2010

Seascape Pastel Tutorial you can Download

Whidbey Island Life 

I find it an honor that other artists have sought to gain some insight into the way I work either through watching my videos on youtube or by emailing me and seeking my advice.

It is because of these inquires that I have put together a downloadable step-by-step tutorial for painting a seascape in pastels.

This tutorial is:
  • I apologize but this tutorial is no longer available.

May 12, 2010

Cat Pastel Painting - A Reason for the Sun

A Reason for the Sun (pastel, 8 x 14 sold)
Biscuit is my constant studio companion and never ceases to be inspiration for me at the easel. It is more than her external beauty. It is much more than what you see with her long flowing mane and those beautiful sun-catching eyes of hers. It is really much more than that. She has the sweetest, kindest, most generous little personality I have ever encountered in an animal. She has made an appearance in The Pastel Journal four times and I have lost count of how many times I have painted her. I wonder if there is a spot for her in the Guinness World Records. Hmmm....

May 10, 2010

Winter Tulip Crew

Winter Tulip Crew (oil, 16 x 20) click to enlarge
I have been buried in my studio so I thought I would share another of my bird paintings in honor of the eagle meeting at our "cove" this morning. You can see some of the photos I took (here) on my photo blog. It was quite a sight and the sounds were amazing, too. Happy painting!

May 01, 2010

Light or Dark - Pick a Value

Colors are such an addiction, aren't they? I was thinking about some of my other SEAL (Self Engendered Art Lesson) projects and thought I would share this one that I know many artists before me have done and many artists after me will do; a basic value study. I think it is such a great exercise. To mix it up a little, I chose to do this one using pastels. Yum. I thought I would miss the color but, really, there was something that felt free about not having to make color choices...but just for a little bit. I'll soon be back to my addiction.

About the painting: This Little Light (pastel, 9 x 12) Ever since she was born, my grand-daughter has held that special little place in the heart and arms of her Papa. My goal for this painting was to convey that sense of security, trust and love she has for him and, in return, the love, sense of protection and longing for the right future he has for her.