Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Front Gate

Or "Winter Series No. 2." Another pastel I did today. I had the same sort of underpainting as the one yesterday. It's fun to see the whole mood and temperature shift as I apply the pastel over the hot oranges and reds. There is a point, however, where the underpainting is distracting and I have to hurry to at least block in the colors I want.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Morning Walk

We have crocuses and early daffodils blooming and I decided to paint winter today. Go figure; usually I want to anticipate a season. I needed to do something entirely different after all my versions of Nonna, so I got out my pastels and printed a photo I'd taken one snowy morning this winter while I was walking the dogs. I love my new iPhone, with its included camera! Before I put on pastels, I did an underpainting on the Wallis, sanded paper with liquid watercolors. I love the way underpaintings sneak a bit of themselves through the pastel and enliven the final painting.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Well, obviously I didn't finish writing about the Don Anderson workshop, and I won't now.

A few years ago, I painted this grandmother whose photo I'd taken at the Saturday market in Buonconvento, Tuscany. It was bought by a man who wanted to know how I'd known his mother to paint her picture. It isn't his mother. For the workshop, I went through old photos looking for ones with high contrast and connected darks. I painted her in the workshop but there were too many things wrong with the paint application, mostly caused by time pressure and not letting layers, especially the dark ones, dry long enough (or at all!). After the workshop, I painted her again, a half-sheet (14" x 20") and liked it much better. Then I decided that I would try painting it a full sheet: it seems like it might make it into some juried show and full sheets are more arresting, at least for the viewers if not for the juror. This is the full sheet version. It took a long time to paint, both because of the drying time and because for the darkest portions I had to work up my nerve. The darks have a lot of odd areas to cover and keep from dripping.