Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

See additional work on my website

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Magdalena from the West, Pastel Painting WIP

Work in Progress

I'm trying to prepare for my show in New Mexico in July. I started a painting of Highway 60 coming into Magdalena from the west. You get a nice view from 10 miles out until you get close to town. The mountains in the background and the straight as an arrow highway. Very pretty in the evening with the rain passing by and a little sunshine on things. I hope to develop some more exciting light than appears in the photo.

It is on Ampersand Pastelbord in olive green, 16 x 20 inches. (While looking for the link to Ampersand, I discovered their 10th annual exhibit, check it out.) I attempted a watercolor under painting. It didn't work too well, the water just runs off of the pastelbord as I had it straight up and down on my easel instead of being flat on the table. Some of the color stayed, but not like it would have if I had laid it flat. I work with my easel upright, even tilted a tinge toward me to help the loose pastel to fall off in a tray instead of staying on the painting.

I started with some of the basic colors and work down after that. In landscapes you work from top down and back to front. That helps to get aerial perspective and keep the front clean and sharp. I would rather have done this plein air, but not possible, so am using a photo I took last summer.

  • This is the beginning, you can see a little of the watercolor and my basic lines to show where the mountains, road, etc., are in the painting.

  • I developed the sky and clouds. I will refine that some, I'm not happy with the upside down V right in the middle.

The mountains are coming along OK. The color is difficult as the trees are pines, the rocks are sort of green but will be more reddish gold in the sun. The dirt is a little gray,brown. I tweaked the photo a little to get more contrast, we shall see if I leave it that way. :)

  • Here is the set up with the photo. I put a grid on it on the computer so that I can get a decent placement on the "canvas" - board.

  • Here are my pastels, or part of them. I could just sit and look at the pastels, they are so colorful. You can see the mess in my studio .. oh well, that is the way I am.

I didn't sketch today, but need to go comment on the Scavenger Hunt as I am the host for #39. I also need to post about the show in Austin that I delivered paintings to yesterday. Back to do that later.....


Joanna said...

Wow. I'm liking that painting! And, I do enjoy seeing the works in progress. The whole process boggles my mind.

Jo Castillo said...

Joanna, I'm finding that posting or at least taking the photos helps to find mistakes and see the values easier. The mountain needs to lighten up to push it back, but I'm liking it, too.


Leslie said...

I really like this landscape! Don't worry about the "v". I think you are seeing it more than anyone. I love to see the studio, too.
I turn my art upside down for a different way to "see" it. Or look at the art's reflection in a mirror.
Beautiful piece!

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Leslie, thanks for the comments. The mirror and upside down are great, too, you are right. Since I was taking photos anyway,though, this was the lazy way. :)


Katherine said...

I love looking at people's pastel sets and set-ups. Thanks for the insight into how you work Jo.

You'll find Zest-it solvent - and not a lot of it - works fine on Ampersand.

Jo Castillo said...

Katherine, thanks for stopping by and the tip on Zest-it. I have used alcohol as well. I just wanted to try the watercolor a la Richard McKinley and should have laid it flat I suppose. I usually do for under painting. I understand Zest-it is a great solvent for oil painting, too. Haven't tried it. Safe.

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los NiƱos. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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