Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pastel Class IV

 SIMPLIFY! was again the primary mantra.  I seem to have a difficult time with this concept.
 Using a note card from Richard C. Harrington as source material, I tried to "do simple."
     I used tinted and scribbled in some of the bands of color.  Today, at least on this piece, I was also averse to blending.  Perhaps it was because I was using some new sticks by Unison and Mount Vision.  they are definitely softer than any others that I have and thus leave more vivid marks on the paper.

Being free of concerns (mostly) about perspective and accuracy, I laid in the color rather freely and with analogous, complementary and sometimes just "crazy" color combinations. 

I was surprised by:
  • how much I liked the final result, and
  • how fast it went
  • how little I wanted to fuss with it.

Local Artist   did her own work/demo while we did.  She has apparently painted this house many times.  It occurs to me that when you have studied a building LOTS of time, it probably gets much easier to draw.  D'oh!
This was her basic vine charcoal outline.

 Then came LOTS of blue, vigorously applied.  I think she said she thought she would run out of the original color, so she added hyacinth, robin's egg and others to the mix.

I still haven't figured out how one decides where to start.  Back ground?  Top? Lightest?  Darkest?  I recall different answers at different times and don't know if there is rhyme or reason.

The next time I looked up there was a roof , shadows and the hint of foliage.  Not to mention the chimney.She didn't seem the least concerned that she didn't finish.  She was generous with her comments while troubleshooting with the rest of the class.

At home, the previous night, I made an effort to paint a very bold cat which visited us early last spring.  It didn't look quite as juvenile/amateurish as my first attempts, It still leaves a LOT to be desired.  A local artist noted several things right away:
  • The red fence piece overpowers the focal cat.
  • The cat is EVEN fatter in the reference photo than in the painting.
  • His eyes were too close together, mis-aligned, and less wide open.
  • His tail needs more definition
  • The lights need to be lighter and the darks, darker.

  So I dulled the railing by overlaying a complementary color (more or less).  A problem with pastels is that they don't always "mix" the way you expect them to, and NOBODY ever thinks they have the exact right color for the job.
Next, I obliterated as much as I could of the slanted lines representing the house's vinyl siding.  As Karen said, the lines were neither interesting nor important.
Once again, I was torn between blending and scribbling.  I like the look of the scribbling, but if there isn't a good foundation, the image gets all out of whack.  I will probably brush off some of the pastel, do some blending and then re-scribble over that.  Of course sometimes one's scribbling must be VERY calculated... like the cat's face.

I also need to tone down the green of the storage box he's sitting on.

It is amazing how many more faults I can see when he's "on screen" than when he's on the easel.  Definitely like him enough to give him an eye lift, chin reconstruction, and symmetrical muzzle!!

And a fluffier tale.
 I have been trying to get the Carlisle Cranberry Bog "right" for a long time.  It still isn't right.
Suggestions welcome!
I'm not sure if it is composition, color or technique... OR, quite likely, a combination of all three.

This one is the most simplified of the three I have tried, and yet you can see there is quite a lot of blending.

Below are two  earlier versions, which I thought got too fiddly, or at least too fussy in the wrong places.  Maybe I should brush THEM off, too and start over.

I can't imagine how people do portraits in pastel.
Just saying.

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