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!

5 Responses to “Big Sur Spring in Pastel”

  1. thom says:

    That was really neat to see… but wow that final product is RELALLY impressive, from the grasses and flowers in the foreground to the waves beyond!

  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Thom. I really miss seeing the northern coastline.

  3. Doris says:

    I like it!

  4. admin says:

    Thanks, Doris. You’ll see it looks much better in person when you come down. We are counting the days!

  5. Karen & MacGregor says:

    WOW! absolutely beautiful! My eyes started to cross reading all the technical stuff about the process but it was worth it to see the results! Bwahaha. Actually, I know nothing about all the products you use so it was very interesting to read about what you used. I’m really glad you got the creative gene!

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