So, this is the start of a pastel piece that has been in my head for a few weeks. It is based on a photo of a palm tree shadow against a white building taken one evening when we were in Gulfport (or it may have been in Bay St. Louis?) -- anyway -- southern Mississippi. It's the kind of thing that really catches your eye, but makes a lousy photo -- exactly the kind of thing I'm thinking pastel is probably perfect for.
I didn't think to take a photo until about stage three -- I'd already sketched it out, done a pretty good layer of color, and then gone over it all with acrylic medium and more grit. I don't know why I did that -- I'm overusing that technique, I think!
The next step, after everything had dried, was to add some good color. Here I have the sky blocked in and some nice bright blues... (I think I was also at this point wondering what the heck I was getting myself into???? )
Here I've blocked in even more... This is the best part, because I get to add all kinds of reds and weird stuff in that area behind the trees. It's really a hotel or something totally boring in the photo. In the painting, it doesn't have to be anything but the right value, I hope!
Still work to go, but wow -- have I learned a lot on this one so far! I just have to let it rest for a couple of days - I tend to overwork really quickly with pastel. Pastel artist friends -- I'm having a hard time getting the space behind the trees without having all those obviously jagged-y MARKS. I've followed the rules of using my softest pastels last, but that's messing up my detail. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of using pastel pencil last to tighten it up, but wonder if that isn't going to be too much. I like the almost abstract quality of the left side ...
Wonder what it would look like as a watercolor?
And here's something fun to do when a work looks iffy big, but looks pretty good small -- take a photo of it with your camera phone and use it as your wallpaper. This one works great! ;-)
( "One Evening in Gulfport" work in progress - pastel on sanded multimedia board)