Friday 14th January: image updates.



Along the River Severn; pastel 14x10 inches


Last time I was setting up to do a new pastel; and here it is. Started on the 2nd, finished on the 5th. It's been many weeks since I completed a pastel subject, so I was rather pleased to get this one constructed and done to a level that I was happy with. It is on pastelmat card. The subject was bathed in afternoon light during the month of November, giving good contrast, but at a low angle. The view is framed by tall poplars on the left, with a distant sunlit house catching the eye up-river. I don't always apply pastel heavily to the paper; I find it better to start gently, and maybe later add more pressure where stronger lighting/colour is required. It's easier to add than take away.

As much as I enjoy using oils and experimenting with them, I found the return to pastels was easier than expected. I felt more at ease, somehow. It is a factor that I should take note of. Pastel number two is already underway.

I have a lot of pastel paintings tucked away in a box, sandwiched between sheets of newspaper. The box is getting quite full now and I suspect it will be time soon to begin a new container. I don't frame everything, but every now and then I take a section of them out and re-consider. I have more pastel pictures clipped together with bulldog clips, hanging from a cupboard door, several of which really need framing up for longer-term protection. The major good thing about this medium is that there is no drying-time!.


Sunday 2nd January: general updates.



Summer at Backwell; pastel 12x9 inches


As the paint dries on one canvas, I have started preparing some more boards for oil painting. These however are taking second place to getting the pastels started again. It is several months since I last used them and during the Christmas break I spent some time watching pastelling videos in order to revitalise my interest. I have a few subjects in mind and yesterday managed to set up and get a new one underway. Early days yet for that one; so for this post I'm putting up a piece that was done in mid-2021, and yes, I had put it away and completely forgotten about it.

The view is a typical green summer's afternoon at the local "swan lake"; the aim here was to try and portray the greenery with a variety of shades, rather than the same one throughout. Thankfully the mass of trees is broken by a house-roof. On a sheet just 12 x 9 inches it is not desirable to try and create too many tiny details; the expanse of water was kept simple, with a few patches of floating "duckweed"; the swans put in with the sharp edge of a harder pastel.

The oil painting just completed was seen (in progress) in my penultimate post from December '21; it has come out ok, but I am feeling that it still needs stronger highlights. We shall see. I am tempted to do it in pastel as well, and make a comparison. Again, this provides me with another exercise. As well as actual painting, I am going through a rubbish clear-out and re-organisation of my media. Stuff that hasn't been used for years is being binned and/or carefully boxed up; old drawings cleared out, maybe the better ones retained in a folder. We are often told that as artists we shouldn't throw anything away...well, I don't have the space to file my entire life, so some things have to go! Next post in a couple of weeks, when hopefully I'll have progressed the new pastel.


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For 2021 news, follow this link

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