A few weeks ago I headed out to paint a quick study on location, and also gather some photos for studio work. The spot was Sawyer Park along the Deschutes River here in Bend, OR where I live. There was snow on the ground, some good late afternoon light (if I got there early enough), and this location had some great views of the river and interesting rock formations, which I knew would be nicely snow covered.
Because of a sore back that day, I didn’t want to carry my gear too far, so I painted a view near the parking lot that I normally passed right by on previous visits. The sun was already going down too fast by the time I was packing up, so I didn’t have time to get to the better views of the river and rocks for photos. But I noticed a marshy area also near the parking lot that caught my eye.
Although the light was almost gone, the water was still capturing a glorious golden glow that contrasted vividly up against the snow that was now almost all in shadow. This created a beautiful contrast of warms against cools … in a slightly different way than when snow and water are lit more directly from the sun. I took lots of photos and knew I’d want to tackle at least a quick study back in my studio while the color temperature contrasts were still fresh in my memory.
|6x8 pastel study|
Soon after I created the study, I dove right into a larger pastel piece. Although I liked the bold colors I used in the study, I thought they would be too intense in a larger format, and I also wanted to convey more of the fading light of that time of day, so I toned down the chroma of the vegetation in the larger piece.
Below are some progression shots and the finished painting based on the 6x8 study.
|underpainting (alcohol wash over Nupastel block-in)|
|About 2/3 completed.|
|Faded Glory, pastel, 14x18|
Then I had a request from one of my galleries for a pastel snow scene. I enjoyed working with the snowy marsh subject, and knew I had other reference photos with various compositions of the same area (and my pastels weren’t put away yet from the last painting!), so I moved right along with “Evening’s Sparkling Entrance” (shown below, with the reference photo, a preliminary stage and the finished piece).
|About 1/3 completed.|
|Evening's Sparkling Entrance, pastel, 11x14|
So after completing a few pastel paintings of the snowy marsh, I did what I normally do when the subject matter intrigues me … I tried it in a different medium!
Below are a few progression shots for “Twilight’s Radiant Descent” (oil), which was from a similar view of the same spot as I used for "Faded Glory" but a different vantage point. (There's a moire pattern that unfortunately shows up in the photos of the preliminary stages.)
|I thought it was almost completed here.|
But as the painting was nearing completion, I wasn’t happy with the composition on this one. When I initially planned out my composition, I did have a concern that the grass in the water was too centered. Most of the value contrast would be below center, which I thought would offset it (but later decided that it didn't), and I initially liked the large shapes in the foreground contrasted with the smaller shapes in the background (but later decided the foreground shapes were too equal). I was working on a panel that could be trimmed, so I had the option to crop it to a better composition. I first cropped it on my phone's camera, and then decided to go for it. My 14x18 became a 12x16.
|Twilight's Radiant Descent, oil, 12x16|
Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - ONE SPOT LEFT
January 21, 22 & 23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR 97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fresno, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
February 9, 10 & 11, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
2003 North Van Ness Blvd.
Fresno, CA 93704
Contact: Ginny Burdick, email@example.com, 559-392-6775
Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop -- FULL W/WAIT LIST
April 20, 21& 22, 2017
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)
Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20& 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Meet & Greet" Thursday evening (5/18)
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-866-5507
Cumberland, MD - 1-day Plein Air workshop (all media/demo will be in oil)
June 25, 2017 (Sun)
Part of the Mountain Maryland Plein Air event happening June 19-24.
Contact: Chris Sloan, email@example.com, 301-777-2787
For FULL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com.
My INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS are available at www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com.
ONLINE CRITIQUES - Visit www.proartcritique.com where I and other painting instructors give quick, affordable online critiques of your work.