Category: Flora

Almost Daily Sketches

As you can see, these are not recent sketches.  I’m working on a larger than usual pastel for me and I’m not ready to show it.   In the meantime, I went back through my sketchbooks and found several that had never been posted.     Let’s see:   a pumpkin, a Chickadee, some tulips and an unidentified flower……..that just about covers it!


Tags: , , ,

Harvey’s Flowers

This is a watercolor I did for a very good friend who has been very ill.  He always admired my flower paintings here in the blog……..and isn’t it a rule that you have to take flowers to someone in the hospital?  Well, here is Harvey’s.    This was is a quick 9 X 12 and only vaguely resembles real flowers.  Sometime, I just like to make up my own.


Tags: , ,

100 Pastel Challenge – #17 & 18

Above are the latest in my loooooooong challenge to paint the same pastel scene 100 times.  For those who would rather not scroll down to read the “rules”, these are small paintings done to experience choosing colors that are perhaps not what one would choose on a regular basis….it’s been a great learning experience and I’m only on #18.      The rules I chose were to make each painting 5 X 7″, complete (or as much as possible) in 30 minutes and make each one different.    I’m hoping to set up a link to a separate page so that you can see them all at once as I progress.

Again, if you would like to see the previous 16, plus the outline drawing and notan (showing value choices), just scroll down.   I think I got a little mixed up in my numbering, but I really just have finished 18 at this point.   I’ve made a promise to myself to finish in 2011………..

Hope you enjoy!

Tags: , , ,

Big Sur Spring in Pastel

This is a photo taken from Hwy 1 in the Big Sur area of California.  Chick and I took the trip several years ago and loved the views….although as a city boy, he wasn’t crazy about driving so close to cliffs that fell majestically down to rocks and the ocean.

About two years ago, I decided to paint this view using a technique I had been reading about which was to paint the large areas with acrylic and then put the pastel over that.  The idea being that some of the color from the acrylic painting would effect the pastel (since pastel is primarily a crystal).  Unfortunately, I guess I didn’t read enough.  I blocked in the areas with color….pink in the sky yellow and gold for the hills, etc.  I painted this on watercolor paper and put a rather heavy layer of acrylic down, totally filling the indentations in the paper and making a slick surface.  When I tried to paint over with pastel, it just slid off the acrylic.   So, back into the folder of “unfinished paintings” it went.

Since that time, I’ve done a lot more study and taken a demonstration class in using watercolor as the first layer…….thinly, of course.   So, a few days ago, I decided to see what I could do with the painting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of it before starting, so I don’t have an example of that to show you.  I used  a spray fixitive  make by Lascaux to lay down a surface that the pastel might stay on.  It was a bit of a struggle with lots of  negotiating, but I finally finished the painting    (unless, of course,  I decide later to make changes…I do that all the time… is not always final.  I think you have to live with a painting for awhile to know if you are really done)

The following will show you the painting about 1/4 to 1/3 done from the top down, then about 3/4 done and the probable final version.  I hope you enjoy it!

Tags: , , , , ,

100 Pastels – 2 More!

Two more closer to the goal!  These are number 16 & 17, so it’s still going to be awhile before I can present the entire group of 100…..but my aim is to complete them in early 2011….not too bad.

I also thought I’d show you the painting that was the original…so to speak.  I completed this 11 X 14 about 2 years ago.  I was never happy with it, particularly the trees and their overall shape.  But everytime I went to change it, I hesitated completely removing the trees and starting again….which is what I should have done.

I’ve now come to just accept it as is.  Time to move on.   But you can see from the photo, that I used this painting as the basis of the 100 pastel challenge design.   I added a layer of hills and reduced the size of the trees, in effect pulling back the point of reference as though looking from a greater distance.

As I showed in earlier posts, the first step after deciding the size and the time limit for working on each painting was to draw the main features knowing that part of the process would probably include changing some of the angles, etc.  The main goal, of course, was to complete 100 completely different paintings, forcing me to choose colors that I wouldn’t normally use.  It’s a great way to see how these choices work or don’t work.   It’s been fun just doing the first 17, but it’s going to really be a push to come up with another 83 and make them all different.

Tags: , , , ,

Blue Lagoon – Pastel

11″ X 14″ Pastel on watercolor paper; mostly Sennlier, Girault, Art Spectrum and Terry Ludwigs.

I believe I started this painting two years ago.  Got down just below the lagoon and couldn’t decided what I wanted it to look like.  I’ve been doing more and more landscapes from memory (?) or imagination, so if there’s anything that you can’t find the botanical name for……..I’ll make one up.

I put so many layers on the paper that I had to actually remove some to change color in certain areas.  This would have been the perfect piece to use my newly found method of painting the first layer of pastel on, but since I had started in the pre-water method, I felt compelled to stay with it.

I was sorry I had made that decision when I got to the bottom, but I just chugged on through.  I can certainly see how setting up your forms with pastel then going over with water (or alcohol)  saves frustration with working on certain surfaces.  I’m going to move onto the more textured boards, etc. , next since I’ve been reading comments as to how many layers you can actually put on before the board just closes shop!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.  Remember, comments are always welcome.

Tags: , , , , ,

Almost Daily Sketches

I’m working on several things at once, but have to stop occasionally and get some drawing in.  These were drawn (quickly, I might add) on a 3 X 5 sketch pad using a brown Sharpie.  As you can see almost anything catches my attention when I’m in the mood.  If you can’t identify the flowers, don’t worry.  I took artist’s license to improvise as I went along.   Hope you enjoy

Sorry the film is so faint.  I should have stopped and made sure I had more light on the easel, but then there you are.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pastel for Pasadena Exhibition

Titled:  Above the Arroyo

This is a 9 X 12 soft pastel on Canson’s Mi Tientes, using primarily Unisons.

This is my entry into the most recent call for exhibition submissions by the California Art Club.  This is in conjunction with the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.  Accepted paintings will be on display the SouthPas ArtFest  2010 from October 20 through November 13 at the SoPas Gallery, located at 1121 Mission Street, South Pasadena, CA.

The paintings were to be of South Pasadena and/or the Arroyo.  Unfortunately, the leaves haven’t really been changing a lot in the Arroyo and I wasn’t drawn to anything in particular, but this scene along the road that traverses the top of the Arroyo caught my eye.

Tags: , , , ,

White Clematis

I’m in the middle of completely redoing my “studio”  (2 small bedrooms) and have totally neglected my daily sketching!   Can’t have that!  So, here is this afternoon’s effort done on the usual 3 X 5 sketchpad in my lap.

I do have exciting news (for me, at least), and that is that on August 31st, I entered two digital submissions to a national competition being held by The Pastel Journal!   Boy, did that take a lot of anxiety calories….I must have lost maybe a half pound…………..

Anyway, although I have entered three shows sponsored by my local Lakewood Artists Guild, this is the first national competition that I’ve entered (could you tell?  Am I repeating myself?)  However, since I had years of entering quilts back in the days when that was my artistic endeavor of choice, I know from experience that the next one will be so much easier.  It’s always that first hurdle, right?

I don’t think they will be letting anyone know if they are even being considered until January.  These national competitions attract thousands of entries and the staff has to first make sure that what you are submitting meets the technical criteria, and then there’s the first go-round to whittle the final judging down to a reasonable number.

So, I’m now preparing to enter some others that still  have 2010 deadlines to take my mind off this one.

Oh, I think I didn’t say that I submitted the last pastel I finished “Coast Sentinels” and one done earlier titled “Birches”.  Both are in the landscape category, so I’m competing against myself along with the hordes of others.   Believe me, I’ll keep you posted when I hear anything!

Tags: , , ,

Two new pastels

Title:   Coast Sentinels


Size:  approx 10-1/2 X  13-1/2

I thought I’d make the work of getting pastels completed and ready for hanging on Thursday by including some process shots of the last one.   I think it’s been awhile since I’ve done this.   Anyway, as you can see, this is a scene of Eucalyptus trees on a cliff overlooking the pacific.   This is not an uncommon site in Southern California, believe me.  Once people started planting the Eucalyptus, they just couldn’t stop.  Like the also prevalent Palm Tree, the Eucalyptus is not native to the area, but you would never know it.  I think they actually fit the landscape here even better than the Palms, but that’s just my opinion.

Title:  Texas Spring


Size:  9 X 12

Just as the hills around Southern California are blanketed with carpets of poppies and Purple Lupine in the spring, so Texas is blessed with meadows of Blue Bonnets.

I may not get all the new pastels up on Thursday (I have plenty framed and ready from the Spring Art Show!), but if not, I will go in and exchange them when they are done.  I’m trying hard to meet the deadline of mid-day on Thursday, but I’d rather be happy with the paintings than put them up before they are ready.  I’ll be in this location for two months, so …who knows?   I may even exchange some more.

Please enjoy and remember that comments are always welcome.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Theme by