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Friday, August 02, 2013

Pastel Painting WIP - Water Underground

I promised a WIP (work in progress) about my new pastel painting.  I painted a windmill in New Mexico using a couple of reference photos and my prospective on the situation.  I planned a scene with the windmill and the present dry conditions of the land.  I love the high desert and like the color combination in the finished painting.

Under Painting
I started on a piece of gray pastelbord.  No particular reason to use the gray, it was what I had on hand.  I lightly sketched the  large shapes and filled them in very lightly with hard pastel.  I put blue on the sky as I didn’t care to have the darker gray showing through.  I used local color to keep a serene tone to the painting.  I often under paint with the complementary (opposite color on the color wheel) to have a vibration of color showing through, not this time though.

Sky Work
I then worked on the sky.  To show depth in a landscape the top of the sky is darker and it gets lighter at the horizon.  The upper, closer clouds are cooler so I used a white that leans toward blue rather than yellow or pink.  The far clouds are warmer so I used a more yellow white a a slight lavender for the shadows.

Developing mid ground
In a landscape I work back to front which also means top to bottom.  I developed the far mountains in blue to push them back.  The next row of mesas were a pinky lavender.  The bluffs are closer, so they get a bit larger and more distinct.  The next hills are a pale, slightly green yellow.  The next layer where the windmill will rest is a bit pinker and the foreground is more red orange and warmer to bring it forward.

Placing windmill tank
I put some cedar trees on the top of the bluffs and the mid ground and began to bring some larger growth as the scene comes forward.  I started the tank that accompanies the windmill.

Nearing completion, time for photo check
I was beginning to get close to completion and took a photo again.  This always shows errors in composition and color. 

Photo lightened on computer
As I worked on the photo to get the photo close to the colors in the painting, I realized it was very much darker than my original idea.  I lightened it on the computer and found it much improved.

The “cure” for this would be to get lighter in value over the whole panting.  Too bad I couldn't change it by hitting a button on the computer.  The easiest way for me would be to wipe it all off.  I brushed it with a brush and wiped it down with soft Viva paper towels.  I don’t mind doing this, I now had a new under painting to work on and start over.  Anytime you paint with purpose it is good practice.  I do think if I did it again, I would put it on white board with a watercolor underpainting so it would be lighter to start with.

Midway, second time.
I went through the same process, starting with the sky and clouds and working forward.

I was very near completion now and sent a photo to my friendly critique group -- daughters and Regina.  

Regina found I had changed the perspective on the windmill which was going to be easy to fix.  Thanks, Regina.  (Check out her new Carolina Sky painting ... awesome.)

I added some foreground information, rocks, bushes, etc. and there you have it.  

Water Underground
Pastel on Pastelbord
14 x 11 inches, framed in old barn wood frame

Water Underground, framed
Gene framed it up for me.  He tapes the glass directly to the Pastelbord and seals the back.  Such a good way to frame pastels. 

The painting  is hanging and for sale at Art Connections Gallery, 908 Main St., Bastrop, Texas, 78602.    512 581-1799  Don't forget the First Friday Artwalk every first Friday!  See previous post for info.


Regina Calton Burchett said...

This is a great post, and so good to see that other artists have to just stop, stand back and take a breath before they start over. Really a lovely painting! And thanks for the link, too!

Jo Castillo said...

Hi, Regina! It is always a pleasure to point folks to see your art. Sometimes a wipe off also helps to review and reinforce the good parts of a plan. I can't think of a bad side as it is time well spent. Thank you.

Lesly said...

Hola Jo! ... this is so good! And you are to be admired for persevering with it like you have. Well worth the re-working (altho' it looked great before!) .. love it xx

Jo Castillo said...

Lesly, hi there! Nice to hear from someone so far away. Thank you very much. Hugs.

Jo Castillo said...

Lesly, hi there! Nice to hear from someone so far away. Thank you very much. Hugs.

Joanna said...

Totally worth repainting! I like the final results. :-)

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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 Niños. (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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