Edges in paintings is such an interesting subject and technique. I’ve been working on improving my painting edges whether they are soft, hard or lost and found. Have had an interesting discussion going on PMP site about the subject and will write a post on my blog with the highlights perhaps next week.
Today I finished Golden Pears (5×7) using Mi-Teintes Bisque tinted pastel paper, with a limited palette. This was fun, quick and proved to me that light and shadows are big players in helping to determine the type of edges to use in bringing the viewer to the focal point.
Let me apologize upfront because the photograph is a little fuzzy – had a difficult time in getting the camera to provide a clear focus on the painting. But you get the idea ~
This book, written by Hazel Harrison, is about painting with soft pastels but many of the concepts can be applied to oil pastels and other mediums because its main theme is painting concepts and techniques in general.
A couple of years ago when I started to experiment with oil pastels, I found Pastel School and on a whim purchased it hoping that the concepts could be used with oil pastels. I was in for a nice surprise because not only was the content great, but was filled with countless photographs of paintings and step-by-step techniques to help move along understanding of concepts described.
Every chapter has nuggets, so as not to overlook but here are three areas that standout for me:
- The very best aspect of this book, almost every page has other artists’ work (including her own) where Ms. Harrison specifically points out examples within the painting so the reader has a visual to evaluate and understand a particular concept described.
- Building Up Your Skills – chapter 3, filled with technique. I really liked the sections on overlaying color, underpainting, and laying a textured ground - how to use these techniques to your advantage in breaking color and adding texture to the overall look of the painting.
- Picture Making – chapter 5, which is really painting a scene or subject. Wow, does she pull this whole chapter apart by type of subject: landscape, skies and seascapes, still life, portraits, etc. Ms. Harrison gives you instruction on the little things you can do that will take your scene from good to great like – to name a few: a dominant foreground, creating space, making the most of skies, painting light, size of figures in paintings, shapes, postures, reflections, and perspectives.
This is one of my treasures and go-to’s in my art library. If you are looking for an all-round good resource of fundamentals, this would be it. Hope you enjoy!
I was asked to donate a painting to a charity with the goal of animal rescue. Twelve paintings are being donated for the charity and will be formatted into a calendar for purchase later on during this year – once the calendar is available for purchase I’ll send out a blog posting for anyone that is interested.
I was given a choice of subjects to choose from: dog, cat or specific bird types – I choose Conures who have beautiful, vibrant colors.
Only Eyes for You, an oil pastel (11×9), was painted on Mi-Teintes ochre tinted pastel paper – it handled multiple layers of OPs and razor scraping beautifully.
Finally I look forward to enjoying your blog posts, I’ve been missing for a week and ready to get back at it. Hope you have a wonderful week – thanks for looking,
This painting is based on a loose interpretation of a photograph taken by Paul Sherman of pmp.
I don’t know about you, but this week has gone by way too fast for me. I’ve been quiet because I’m working on an oil pastel commission for a charity and it’s taken longer than anticipated – hopefully it will be done tomorrow so I can post. Never know, I’ve already scraped it down twice, lol, so what does that tell you?!
It is Thursday and I was able to work on Sorrow for 1/2 hour just before the daylight ran out. I’ve started on the bottom right-hand corner of the fabric folds using 4H and 2H, I really love the statute and all that it stands for - looking forward to working on this drawing for the next several weeks.
Hope you enjoy and I promise to catch up with everyone’s blog posts, I’m so far behind!!
What follows is the 18-week drawing process for Water Veil in panoramic view created by IrfranView. My hope is this summary allows you to follow the development of the water scene.
Hint: if you click on one of the panoramic images you’ll be able to see the details better.
Several people have mentioned that they thought it would be nice to have a post that shows all 12 jpegs taken of Gentle Compassion during the drawing process. Using IrfranView software, I was able to re-create the images in panoramic view that documents the process.
Once a drawing project is completed I’ll post the process as I have above. Let me know if this is helpful.
The start of a new drawing project, so let me apologize to those that may not be familiar with my process. I draw for only a half-hour each week, as a way to develop my drawing skills and keep maintaining a sharp focus. As a way to stay true to the commitment, progress made each Thursday will be posted.
This week is the first of a new drawing project, so what you see is a very rough outline of the subject- my outlines take the full half-hour and what usually happens is much of it will be changed and enhanced as the weeks go by. The subject, a statue that brings on a full range of emotions for many reasons, for me symbolizes ”loss and deep prayer.”
Sorrow is the name of my latest drawing (Strathmore-Vellum paper and graphite pencil 4H). I have no experience in drawing fabric and folds – so this will have all the deep crevices and reliance on value ranges that I find really enjoyable to develop. Oh my, don’t look too closely those hands are much to be desired at this point – not to worry they’ll be worked on for sure.
The history behind the reference picture of this statute – it was taken by Shaun Hopkinson (from pmp) after her granddaughter passed away suddenly two years ago. A very painful loss of love and life.
There’s no question that oil pastels can give even the most seasoned artist a challenge, I say, bring it on. Because the medium never dries value ranges become ever more important in dramatizing a scene. Painting waves gives the kind of challenge I spoke of and if I’m going to tackle a wave, then I look for the most intriguing and different looking ones that I can find.
On December 11, 2013 a blogger Earthstills (located somewhere in South Africa near Capetown) posted a photograph of the most fantastic close-up of a wave that I have seen in a long time. So I asked Earthstills for permission to use his photograph as reference to paint this wave in oil pastels, I was thrilled when he said yes with criteria to give him credit and let him see the painting. The swirl of sea-foam looked like silk or smooth taffy as it was backlit by the sun – simply stated, gorgeous. Thank you Earthstills, your image is priceless . . . you can see his photograph for yourself at http://earthstills.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/sea-fever/#comment-2076
Sea-Foam Swirl, (oil pastel, 8×10) was the challenge of all time, I loved it! The wave was backlit and had thrashed about leaving swirls and holes that Earthstills caught with perfect timing. I turned up the intensity of the overall light allowing me to capture a bit more of the colors in the forefront of the wave. This was a great piece to work on, really loved capturing the kind of exotic movement that Earthstills caught with his lens.
Hope you enjoy . . .
Sometimes WordPress can be ever so frustrating, today is one of those days. It’s been several days since I went through my reader – having just spent two hours liking and commenting, many times twice on the same post, I’ve found once again many likes didn’t stick. Sorry, I can’t do this round of blog posts a third time ~
My studio has been very patient with my absence this morning . . . the most interesting ocean scene is waiting for todays application of oil pastels.
Have a wonderful day and please know, I’m out there visiting and enjoying your posts. Mary
For the longest time an empty wall in my home has been (patiently, lol) waiting for me to fill. I knew it would be a floral, but flowers are a subject I’m still getting comfortable painting. Finally I think there is a piece that has found its home.
My latest oil pastel, Callas Trumpeting (14×11) was painted on Mi-Teintes black pastel paper. It’s always a challenge to get lighter values to glow with black as the background (in this case, the flowers) so scrubbing the first thin layer of OPs into the paper provided enough coverage that the oil pastels worked their magic and made the petals come alive.
Hope you have a great weekend, here is Callas Trumpeting ~
A reference image taken by Viacheslav, incredible photographer with pmp was the inspiration for this piece.