I almost titled this blog disappointed. It wouldn’t have been completely accurate. I am disappointed with the number of paintings I completed this month and the number of drawings and portraits I worked on, but it was such a good month filled with family and friends that I couldn’t possibly be disappointed with August!
September and October will be even busier with even bigger celebrations! My take away (again, I’ve thought this once or twice before) is that I have to get comfortable drawing and painting in front of other people. Easy to say, so so so hard to do.
A few of my favorite sketches from August.
I had the pleasure of attending the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society’s new feedback group on Monday afternoon. It was a much needed experience. It is great to be out here in the woods and have time, peace and gorgeous views to paint, but it is so important to hear what your peers have to say about what you are doing and see what they are doing. I really appreciated their critique and am already looking forward to the next feedback group meeting!
The first image is the original Allegheny painting I did a while back, they suggested that I add more interest to the tree on the left of the image, and reminded me that the sky is lighter at the horizon.
The second image is with a make over. I am much happier with the tree on the left, I tried to lighten the sky but am not as happy with that – maybe I will work more on that in the future. I did not touch the trees or the water but was very surprised at the over change of the image.
The original Mystic River painting they also suggested the tree on the left needed some detail, my sky was too dark at the horizon and the trees in the distance were not cool enough to show depth or atmosphere in the painting.
The second image has been edited with lighter sky, cooler trees in the distance and detail on the large tree on the left. Once I added some color to the tree on the left the water lilies were lost, I added a little color to help them stand out. I did not touch the water or the bridge.
I was on a roll with the information they had given me so I took out another small image I had that I didn’t like and tried to help it a little as well. I am much happier with the new image. I believe it shows the depth of the woods and is easier to look at.
The group was impressed with what I had been able to do with limited pastels – pastels range from very hard to very soft, I own a set of 8 very hard and a set of 24 hard. Both sets have a limited value range, meaning no deep darks and no lights other than black and white. I have also been working on drawing paper, not pastel paper (other than the Strathmore which is more of a mixed media paper). Layering on pastel paper is how most artists work, layering is difficult on drawing paper as the pastels blend to easily and the color turns muddy at about the third layer. They suggested that I order a sample pack of pastels and a sample pack of pastel paper to experiment with and see what my preferences are. They also suggested that I stop on my way home and buy a pack of very fine sandpaper to paint on. I did. Although I don’t particularly like the image, it was fun painting on sandpaper. Yep, 320 grit 3M sandpaper from Walmart!
A Billy Joel concert with the fam was an early birthday present! The show fabulous! The scenery gorgeous (and crazy clean for the Democratic Nation Convention)!
I am really enjoying being closer to family. Can’t explain what it is like, seeing these people once a year on a good year for the past 28 years and suddenly able to go play for a night and skip out the door the next morning knowing I will see them again in a week or two is surreal.
I also am truly enjoying the time I’ve had to paint. I have had a few really bad days where I question why I bother, but most days are good. I keep attempting images way beyond my ability and am pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Ideas for next images flow faster than I can write them down, I think about painting tomorrow when I lay down at night, dream about it and wake up ready to go. Crazy, incredible opportunity I have been given!
Spent the 4th of July in Boston, a glorious city to stroll through. There are so many things worthy of my pastels, just not enough hours in the day for me to get them all painted!
Some images from a quick trip to Pittsburgh, PA
The incline is a must when in Pittsburg, it never gets old. I found this drawing in a sketch book a day or so after I finished the pastel painting. Made me happy!
Found a picture in my folder, no idea why I printed it, but it needed some color, and it was a hoot painting this little guy! It is important to let go and paint just for fun on occasion. I found I was freely layering and experimenting like I wouldn’t if I had a plan and an outcome in mind!