Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pastel sketches

The Overpass
I've never really adopted pastels as a medium of choice, but, like oils, I love their immediacy and the ability to put down colour quickly.

Yes, there's dust, but I can't say it bothers me.  I don't use protection against inhaling pastel dust but probably would if I used it on a daily basis.  Wearing old painting clothes and a latex glove helps against being multicoloured by the end of a session, but I still manage to look like I've been through a colourful dust storm by the time I've produced something.

I use a mix of pastels from inexpensive to higher end brands.  Of course the more expensive pastels for the most part give me richer colours that are predictable and the inexpensive ones are adequate but don't always perform as I want in terms of pigment.  This, of course, is a trait that moves through all mediums.  You get what you pay for.

Available on Daily Paintworks

Pastels are easily transportable if you limit your palette.  I don't want to take hundreds of colours with me if I do any plein air work and pastels fit the bill for ease.  Of course the purists may be horrified as my pastels aren't laid out in colour families or in single layers when they go on the road.  Yep, I'm a "toss the in a container and go" artist.   Again, if I used them on a consistent basis I may be more careful in how I manage them. 

This is a sketch of a old park in St. John's, Bowring Park.  Its a fabulous place, full of old trees with paths winding through and interesting bridges and benches often constructed from spruce tree saplings.   There is an overpass that separates the original 'old' park of 50 acres from the 'new' land of 150 additional acres.  I never considered it as a beautiful bridge and in truth it is more functional but in an early morning with the light right, it takes on a new air.

I've never been much of a landscape painter but may consider a small series later in the year and pastels provide a quick, transportable sketching medium to bring back to the studio as the basis for oil paintings.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Ryan's Meadow

Ryan's Meadow is an continuing source of visual information for me, no matter what the season.  The large fields are for hay production and the colour, light and landscape change daily.  The advantage of living in the country is easy access to the land and for me, to the sea as well.

I'm considering some nocturne paintings and the meadow next to my house may be my first.  Finding the right light, preferably dawn or twilight and the right weather conditions are always the challenge.  The advantage is that my travel time is under two minutes.

This small pastel is 7" x 7.5" on St. Armand paper and available in my Daily Paintworks gallery.