Down the River, oil pastel painting

Down the River came about from a series of photographs taken of a river scene, by using the best angles of each shot and giving the background of bit of light shining through for a little atmosphere.  I’m not one to do much painting of dense forests, but the river gave it enough break that I thought that it all the right elements for a good painting.

I began this scene with an acrylic underpainting done in ultramarine blue, giving the surface just enough color that it peeks through the oil pastel in some places.  This was a fun experiment – hope you enjoy the results.

Down the River  Oil Pastel, 11x14

Down the River
Oil Pastel, 11×14

The reference was from an image shot by photographer Johnina Payne Young of pmp.

About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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30 Responses to Down the River, oil pastel painting

  1. This is so lovely. I can see a young boy in a small boat with a fishing pole. The lightened portion really highlights the painting.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Emily, thank you! Gives that quiet, kind of lazy feeling to the scene – right? Great imagination, that’s what I love about your eye. Thanks!

  2. your painting is so moving….like the water……beautiful, Mary!

  3. Lovely painting! Im yet to try oil pastels, they look like fun!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you and I hope you give oil pastels a go I’ve truly enjoyed painting with the medium and find interesting new twists on OPs every time I work with them.

  4. Madhu says:

    That looks absolutely lovely!

  5. amadiex says:

    WOW! Very beautiful!

  6. Lovely painting, Mary, with calm and meandering possibilities. It would also make a wonderful prompt for writing.

    • Mary says:

      Oh Marylin thank you! A sense of calm was exactly what I had hoped to evoke for viewers, I really appreciate your beautiful thoughts.

  7. mamiesmith says:

    So beautiful! This one reminds me of when I was canoeing down the Little River in Alabama at camp. 🙂 It brings back great memories.

  8. Petronette says:

    Great painting !

  9. I do like the affect you got with the technique you employed. It would be interesting to see how this plays out over a broader range of paintings.

    • Mary says:

      I agree Charlie, thanks! As I examine the painting more I am bothered a bit by the tree on the right it’s too regular so will work on that area some.

  10. I had no idea that one could work acrylic under oil pastels. A wonderful shimmer in this piece.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Elena. Yes and they work out perfectly. Only the surface needs to have an additional coat or two of clear gesso applied. I use a sponge roller to apply the gesso, on this piece I didn’t go over the gesso as many times as usual so the tooth texture is a little bigger (rougher) than I usually work with. Only problem with the acrylic is that it can bleed when applying the clear gesso and if you have white or cream the purity of the color can change so that’s a caution.

  11. artscottnet says:

    Looks early morning to me, absolutely beautiful 🙂 A good and peaceful weekend to you Mary

  12. poppytump says:

    Like daylight moonlight Mary 🙂
    I know…. I see things differently Lol

    • Mary says:

      Ha – you are funny. It can be anything you would like. I was going for a late-morning feel to the piece, so you are half right (lol).

  13. This is gorgeous, Mary! 🙂 Where were the photographs taken? The scenery reminds me a lot of a river in Sweden where I once went canoeing.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Calee, thank you so much! I see one area that I want to revisit, but will have to wait to let the piece set-up a bit before I tackle it. Great question – this place is in McDonough, GA and the State of GA have wonderful places like this, as does most of the Southern States like TN, No/So Carolina’s, KY, MS, AL.

  14. prewitt1970 says:

    Its beautiful. Wonderful as always.

  15. Healthy A-Z says:

    Love your touch with this and the light is great!

    • Mary says:

      Hi Cyndi, thank you! I really appreciate it – I really worked to bring a little bit of light into the painting for some atmosphere. So glad you like the results.

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