Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunlight on the Marsh

Sunlight on the Marsh
9x12 Pastels on art spectrum colorfix, aubergine
Day 2 of the  Carsten workshop sponsored by PSNH. Robert demonstrated a technique to encourage looseness and impressionistic light.  The basic shapes are first roughly blocked in and then layers of pastel are scribbled over it almost obliterating the image which is then re-worked on top. I decided to use the same reference photo in order to compare the various techniques.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Maine Marsh

Maine Marsh
9x12 pastel on Art Spectrum Colorfix, black
I just finished a wonderful workshop with Robert Carsten put on by the Pastel Society of New Hampshire. Robert is an excellent teacher, generous with his ideas.  The first day he demonstrated on black paper using a dry underpainting technique.  He chose a light and a dark of the three primaries for this and blocked in his basic shapes being true to his values.  I had never seen an underpainting done like this and even though I don't usually use black I had to give his method a try.  I am pleased with the result.

Apples and Copper

Apples and Copper
6x6 oil on panel
I have been playing with my new toys.  I bought a new easel, the Coulter System, and even though it is for plein aire I set it up in the studio to try it out.  I love the way the box is positioned just right and I can close it up when I am done or just taking a break. 
I also ordered my first Rosemary and Co. brushes and I love them.  This was done using the Shiraz flats.
I recently got an I-Pad Air.  After setting up my still life I photographed it and filtered it to help me paint looser. I've never done a still life from a photo before so I kept the still life set up.
Lastly, I photographed the finished painting using the I-Pad.  Even though I use a gray card to adjust my white balance I find the I=Pad does a much better job than my camera.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"It's Pastel!"

I am pleased to announce that my painting "Into the Woods" was juried into the National Pastel Show at the Discover Portsmouth Center Gallery. It will be on display from Oct. 25th to Nov. 30th.  The Opening Reception is Saturday, Oct. 25th from 4-6pm. Please stop in if you are in the area.

Into the Woods

Monday, October 13, 2014


6x6 oil on panel
I visited Diane Mannion's blog and saw her review of Qiang Huang's workshop.  Her notes were very detailed explaining the five steps to his painting process.  I decided to give his technique a try. He begins by wiping his canvas with a small (very small) amount of refined linseed oil. I liked the way that helped the paint go on smoothly.  Another difference was the use of transparent red iron oxide and ultramarine to tone the canvas.  I usually use raw umber. Darks are added and lights are wiped.

Beginning to add color very loosely thinking in terms of cool, warm, light , dark etc.  I had trouble with this stage not being used to the slick surface the linseed oil created.
The almost final version again.  I want to punch up the color but may have to wait until the linseed oil dries somewhat.
Sometimes I have to prove to myself that I am making progress.  This is the pomegranate painting I struggled with a year ago.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Harris Pond

Harris Pond
9x12 pastel
This was re-worked slightly, I added deeper darks and now I think I may lighten the lights in the water. I will also adjust the distant reflections.  It may become a completely different painting. At least with pastels it is difficult to fiddle with it once it is under glass.
My Dakota easel came yesterday and it is all set up and ready to try out before my workshop with Robert Carsten.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Indian Head

5x7 oil on RayMar panel
Painted en plein air
Indian  Head Resort in New Hampshire' s White Mountains
I painted this on a trip up north and then photographed it with my new I-Pad, the one I do not know how to use yet!) I could not figure out how to post it to my blog so I e-mailed it to myself, opened it on my Kindle and posted it. The technology learning curve is steep.