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

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Pastel Landscape WIP Final Water Canyon

I finished the Water Canyon painting from the previous post. It is more pleasing to my eye. I softened and changed the value in the big rock formations along the main ridge. I took out some of the bushes in the front. I also made the clouds lighter in value near the main canyon. I hope you agree that this improved the painting.

Water Canyon
Soft Pastel on board with Colourfix, 10 x 16 inches

I was off my mark in guessing the size. I said before that it was 9 x 12. I only had one board this size and didn't realize this was it. Hmmm. Water Canyon, like the Ladron Mountains, is another spot that I have taken photos of many times. Maybe the next painting will be with the snow on the ground.

Value is one of the challenges for me in painting. I have always used color to separate and emphasize. I am learning that if you get the value right it can be any color. Usually in the focal point or center of interest you have your lightest lights and darkest darks. It is good to keep your dark and light patterns connected. In this landscape having the darkest dark on the ridge did not let it move back into the distance. The darks are scattered along the closer hills and in the bushes in the front and it seems to work in this particular instance. Use this black and white version to check value. Squint your eyes and check out the mass forms/shapes. What do you think?

One reason I had to fix a few small things in the original as I had just enjoyed painting! Sometimes when you start thinking too much about these "rules" you forget to just paint. I find that over the years, thanks to practice, I have been able to paint without really thinking about how to create depth or color. You learn something each time you paint. On occasion, you paint in the "zone", and all the knowledge just flows and you paint well and with little effort. The painting almost paints itself. That is a great feeling!

P.S. Thanks, Joanna, for helping me with the Html so you can click on the image and it gets larger without getting the download message. :)


Regina said...

Jo - This looks great - the depth of the plain in front really draws one in, and the colors and shadows are excellent. I very much like the overall feel of it - great job!

Jo Castillo said...

Thanks, Regina. I like it, too. It will go to Peppers Art Gallery in Magdalena, NM.

Joanna said...

The painting looks great.

And, always happy to help out with the technical details. :)

PS: The verification "word" for this comment is "hfjlc"...it ends with my initials!

Jo Castillo said...

Joanna, Do you hear the Twilight Zone music? Thank you, daughter.

Valerie Jones said...

Jo, this is absolutely beautiful! It creates a cool, misty mood...one I like. My husband thinks I'm crazy for liking that type of weather. Sorry if that isn't the mood you tried to create.

Jo Castillo said...

Valerie, thanks. It is always in the eye of the beholder. I do think it is cool and quiet. :)

Rose Welty said...

Jo, as everyone has said, it's lovely. Can you pass on the techie tip? I understood it was a problem with blogger, but I didn't know you could fix it. :-)

Jo Castillo said...


The fix is under Images, Help, Known Issues.

Sign in to blogger and go to

Thanks for the comment. It is nice to have a personal tech. :)

Thanks again, Joanna.

Joan said...

Jo, This is lovely! I like this version with fewer bushes and the darker ridge. You did such a great job on the shadows. Amazing!

Jo Castillo said...

Joan, thank you for your nice comments. I always like the way you simplify in sketching, good in painting, too. :)

Kasie @ ~The Art of Life~ said...

This is beautiful Jo! I think the values look good. That's always something that I struggle with.
It's a very lovely piece. :)

Jo Castillo said...

Thanks, Kasie. Value AND perspective are my biggest problems, so your comment gives me a boost. :)

Bag Blog said...

The mountains are great! I like the "painting in the zone" and understand exactly how you feel.

Jo Castillo said...

Bag Blog, thanks. Hope you are in the zone much of the time!

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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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