Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Creating distance with color temperature.

A Sliver of Silver Lake, pastel, 9 x 12
This was my demo from this week's Monday class in which we focused on creating distance in the landscape using color temperature.  The large foreground area provided lots of opportunity to experiment with colors as well as subtle shapes to move the viewer's eye back into the distance.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Same scene, different weather conditions.

Autumn Color on a Cloudy Day, pastel, 11 x 14

Autumn Color in Sunlight, pastel, 11 x 14
In my Wed. and Thurs. classes we've been studying the effects of direct sunlight vs. cloudy conditions on the same scene. (See Sept. 15 post.) Our subject matter of a landscape with vivid autumn colors made a great study for this, allowing us to notice many differences between the two besides just brighter highlights, including differences in contrast, value range, and color temperature/saturation.  Autumn Color in Sunlight was shown in my Sept. 15 post; however, I've made some adjustments to it.  Autumn Color on a Cloudy Day was my demo from this past week.  After finishing the cloudy day version, I went back and forth between the two making minor tweaks to both. Although we usually hope for sunny conditions when painting outdoors or taking reference photos, cloudy conditions can often be dramatic and moody.  I think I actually like my cloudy day version better!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sept. 19 Demo

Off in the Distance, pastel, 12 x 9
In my Monday class we worked from a black and white photo in order to focus on matching values rather than colors.  Several students in this class are new to the medium and have a limited number of pastels, so this takes the pressure off of not having enough colors in their supply.  But it's also a great exercise for anyone wanting to develop a better eye for values, while also becoming more interpretive with color.  This is my demo painting from the class.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall is here.

Autumn Color in Sunlight, pastel, 11 x 14
Well, here in Georgia, fall colors and cooler weather aren't quite here yet, but I'm sure ready for it.  When I was looking through photos in preparation for this week's classes, I gravitated toward my collection of autumn scenes.  I came across a scene that I had photographed on a cloudy day, and then went back another day and photographed the same scene on a sunny day.  This is my sunny day demo from today's class.  Next week we'll tackle the cloudy day version and observe how different lighting conditions affect autumn colors.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sept. 12 Class Demo

Trees Aglow, pastel, 9 x 12
This past Monday I began teaching the first week of my fall session pastel class at Spruill Center for the Arts.  With several new pastel enthusiasts in the class, I wanted to start with a piece that would show how to simplify a basic landscape composition.  I chose an exercise similar to the one in my last post in which we begin the painting by simplifying the composition into 5 large shapes and then gradually break down the finer details from there.  Trees Aglow is my completed demo from the class.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Five Shape Landscape

Lakeside Tranquility, pastel, 11 x 14
This past week I had my classes focus on simplifying landscape subject matter into about five basic shapes in the thumbnail stage.  We used grey markers in 3-4 values to sketch out the thumbnails. This forces you to make decisions about what value to categorize each section of the painting right from the start.  For my demo above, once I had a value thumbnail (or notan) that I liked, I began my painting referencing my thumbnail, not the photo. I then further divided the shapes and adjusted the values within each shape, referencing the photo at that point as more details were added.  I find this to be a good way to begin a painting that contains lots of busy tree foliage. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Raiford Gallery

Red Tree Along the River, pastel, 12 x 14
This painting, along with three more of my pastel landscapes, will be showing in Raiford Gallery beginning next week.  Raiford Gallery is housed in a unique barn-type structure located in Historic Roswell along Canton Street.  Along with original paintings, they also feature an ecclectic assortment of glass art, ceramics, jewelry, and a variety of other handmade creations.  If you're local to the area, it's well worth the visit!