Posts Tagged ‘process study’

Country Living – A Process Study

This is a 9 X 12″ pastel on Fabriano paper.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done a process study.  I hope you enjoy seeing the steps to the finish.   I usually start with a rough sketch in a neutral color to decide placement of objects, etc.

Next I work on the sky.  I know a lot of artists leave the sky to the last, but, for me, it sets the tone of the scene.

Now it’s time o start adding color and painting the objects.

I always work top to bottom and then later go back and add or change the interior items I’m not satisfied with.

Finally, the bottom half is completed and any corrections are made…..actually, I made several to the buildings!

As usual, any comments are more than welcome.  I think I’d like to spend a little time at this farm.

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Pastel Pond

I’ve been doing a lot of sketching lately and will post them soon, however the pastel bug bit me good this week.  I started this Tuesday and I “think” I finished it tonight, however living with it for a day or two may induce me to make some changes as I’m not thoroughly happy with it.  We’ll see….I go back and make changes to paintings all the time.     This is an 8″ X 12″ on  Canson paper using mostly Unisons and Ludwig pastels.

Below are a couple of shots showing my usual way of working.  First, very loosely drawing in area with a pastel pencil and then with landscapes working mostly from top to bottom.  Then I go  back and start changing, adding or subtracting items and color.   I was aiming for a very loose image which I think this qualifies.  In fact, I’m thinking I may go in and sharpen some detail.

Enjoy and please comment if you wish!

In start with the sky in landscapes as it is the source of light and all else follows.

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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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Flower Decopage

I thought I would post something entirely different today.  What follows is how to turn a plain cardboard box into a beautiful flowered wastebasket (or storage box….whatever you find useful)   Several years ago, I cut flowers from several old magazines and glued them to empty file folder boxes.  I have used them for storing special fabric.

The process is very easy. You just cut out flowers or scenes from magazine before tossing them.  (I usually pass older magazines onto the Senior’s Center, but once in awhile I’ll use one up on a project like this).

Below is a file folder that has been covered with flowers cut from various magazines.

Today, I decided to transform an 8″ square, 36″ high cardboard box that sits next to my computer and work table because I’m so lacking in space, the tall, thin box was a great use of space.

I cut various photos of flowers from a Good Housekeeping magazine to begin the transformation.  From what I’ve done so far, I’ll probably use up two more magazines….depending, of course, on how many flower photos are in each one.   I cut them out with scissors, curving in and around them to make the  overlapping shapes more interesting.

Then, I turn each piece over and cover the edge all around with glue stick, adding  some lines of glue inside the shape for the best attachment.  The entire box will be sprayed or brushed with lacquer at the very end, so you don’t have to cover the entire back of each cut out,  but it is important to make sure all the edges are glued down well.

This is the way I begin by wrapping some of the larger cut outs around the corner of what I’m decorating.

Here is a picture of how the overlapping of photos creates a sea of flowers, rather than an identifiable scene.

Here’s what two nearly finished sides look like.  Once I’ve finished the sides, I might cover the bottom in the same way or just use plain paper.  The top edge can either end flush with the cardboard, or wrap the flowered paper over the edge, glue down and then reinforce with tape, if you wish.    The last step is to spray all the outside surfaces with lacquer.    Voila… have a beautiful container and have recycled the colorful contents of one or more magazines!

Good Luck!

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The following are the steps before completing my latest pastel.  It is a 9 X 12 on La Carte Pastel Card using mostly Unisons.   This is the first pastel I’ve done on any surface besides Canson and watercolor paper.  I think I have found a new friend….it was a lot of fun working on this surface!

I enlarged a photo of Shatze and taped it to the top of my table easel.  I know a lot of people use their computer screens. Perhaps that will be the next step I take.   Anyway, here is the drawing done in a reddish brown  Nupastel.

I don’t usually do the background first, but when I saw how brilliant the colors were showing on this paper (card?), I felt better about working on the cat with some area of comparison.  I didn’t want the background to over-power the cat, but I still wanted to include the delightful colors in the what I think is a blanket over the back of the couch.

I was fairly happy with the face at this stage, although later I could tell I had painted the nose just a bit too long and so corrected it by scraping off pastel and repainting.  But that wasn’t until the rest of the picture was completed.   I’m sure we all go in and make “corrections” after we’ve covered the surface.  But, I think that faces on people and animals are of primary importance. If the face isn’t right, it’s not the right cat!

I think this is where I discovered the nose, plus a few little picky items to correct.

And here I call it done.   (Unless something else jumps out at me after letting it rest a day or two.


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MiniApple in Pastel

I decided that since I have been spending a lot of time following Duane Keiser and he works in a small format for his daily painting, I might as well give it a try.   As I mentioned (probably several times) below, I have been doing 5 X 7 pastels for the 100 Pastel Challenge, but I decided to add another layer of complexity into my day by starting a new series that I am calling “MiniPics”.

This first painting is in pastel and even though it is only 5 X 5, it took about two hours to complete.  First, I haven’t been able to determine the pastel paper.  It was a loose sheet and may have been Mi Tientes…not sure.  I chose to use a warm grey paper. Then I decided to work in my softest of pastels, mostly Unisons………oops!   It was fun, but the paper filled pretty quickly and I had to scrape off and redo some areas.  Definitely not my favorite thing to do.

In any case, here is my first of I hope many small paintings (I even went out today and took advantage of various President’s Day sales to pick up some square frames.

This first picture is of the finished (well, almost…I need to work on more value change on the right side of the wooden stand) piece, appropriately call “MiniApple”.   Then, underneath you’ll see the steps from the original sketch to finish.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed doing it.  (By the way, I’m still going to finish the 100 Pastel Challenge this year and continue working on larger landscapes as well).  Please know that comments are always welcome……..especially, if you can tell me how to get clear, clean signatures on soft pastel.  Mine either look oddly shaped or scraped into the surface!)

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Big Sur II

The following is a process study of a new pastel called Big Sur II. This painting is based on a photo I took several years ago during a trip Chick and I took up Hwy1. The size is 9 X 12 on Strathmore medium weight pastel paper and using several brands of pastels, including Terry Ludwig, Unison, Girault and Nupastel.

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Kansas Farm in Pastel

This is a 9 X 12 pastel of a farm in Kansas….well, two farms.   I took two shots several years ago and combined them for this painting.

And finally……………..

I hope you enjoyed seeing the steps.

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Autumn Cove

Finished this one this afternoon.  9 x 12 on Canson paper, various soft pastels, but mostly Unisons.  This is another one out of my imagination.  But, I have a couple of photos of scenes ready to use as beginnings for new ones.


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Autumn Cove – Part 1

Here’s the beginning of a new 9 X 12″  landscape in pastel.  I’ve been away for awhile and have a stack of photos and ideas for paintings, but today was just a landscape day…..even I don’t know what it’s going to look like when I finish because it’s all from my head.        Please enjoy!      (And remember, comments are more than welcome)

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