May, 2011

100 Pastels Challenge #61

We’ve been visiting family in the SF bay area and I just had to jump in and get something done.  The is the 61st painting in the challenge.  I was going to just post groups of 4 in the future, but couldn’t resist posting this.

We had a great time in Marin (I didn’t tell everyone that we brought the sunny days up there with us!)  Actually, we had a little rain on Saturday, but the barbecue on Sunday was in a wonderful sunny day and the three birthday cakes (this was a family celebration), were perfect.


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Our guild’s Spring Show was yesterday and I’m thrilled to have won two ribbons

Our guild’s Spring Show was yesterday and I’m thrilled to report that I got two ribbons: one was third place for Kansas Farm and an honorable mention for Marshland.  I had entered three pastel paintings as shown below.  Yeah!

Marshland is very proud of her ribbon!

as is Kansas Farm

and the runner-up was Farm in the Valley!

Yes, I was very, very pleased!

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Marshland in Pastel

This was done on a heavy watercolor paper, first roughing in the background colors, then going over this with brush and water.  This is a process used by many pastelists to put in the background without filling the texture of the paper, thus allowing several layers of pastel as needed.  Once pastel has filled the texture, the color just slides off as you try to add more.  You have a couple of options when that happens, such as spraying with fixitive  which allows a little more pastel to be applied, or you can taka a stiff brush and remove portions of the painting to be changes.

I had picked up an off-brand of watercolor paper to work on and discovered during the process that the paper was a little too textured.  I’ll be keeping the pad for future watercolors, but using  this particular paper for pastels was especially difficult.

I have the process steps below.  The painting is 7-1/2 X  11-1/2 using primarily Unison pastels. Enjoy!

Here is the painting before completing the blending with water.  The sloping horizon line is due to a sloppy photo edit.

Background is now blended.

Here is the beginning of adding the marsh grasses, next is reflections in the water and completing the sky and cloud colors.


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Studio – sort of

I thought I’d show you how I work at a table easel….today was a larger pastel than normal.  I’m hoping to get the last of the stuff arranged or removed from this small bedroom so I can set up my studio easel.  I haven’t worked on it in over a year, but I have some larger work in progress (or at least in the queue) and they are much better done on a regular easel.

By the way, does anyone know where all this stuff comes from?


100 Pastel milestone-60 done

Ok, that’s numbers 57, 58, 59 and 60.

So, I’ll probably go back to watercolor for awhile.   …..wait a minute….I already said that didn’t I? I think I mean it this time.

I hope you are all enjoying my struggle to make each one different.  Only 40 more to go!!



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