Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pastel Underpaintings

I wanted to try one of Richard McKinley's underpainting techniques. I used Pastel Multimedia board and added a quick value drawing with a hard pastel. Then brushed on Liquitex clear Gesso on top to seal the drawing and add more grit. It was difficult to brush on the gesso without completely smearing the drawing. Once I had a layer of the wet gesso on, it was easier to get the gesso more level without disturbing the drawing.

After the gesso dried, I put some transparent watercolor. I should have used more pigment as it dried pretty light.
 Then I started layering the pastel. I was having difficulty in getting the pastel to cover the way I wanted and it was just laying on the top of the grit.

 It looked really messy. I finally pressed the loose pigment into the surface using a piece of foam.
I continued on and finally gave up at this stage. Although it doesn't look too bad in the photo, in person, it seemed really messy.

I worked a bit more with a pastel pencil and was happy with the final result. (And everything looks better in a nice mat and frame! haha)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Studio Work - Home Movies for Reference?

A week or so ago, I found my DVD of some of our family home movies which my father took in the late 1940's and early 1950's. These were originally reel to reel tape, then transferred to VHS, then onto a DVD. I decided to transfer and convert the interesting movies onto my computer to a WMV files. They resolution was really bad (in the original format) and I am sure the multiple conversions really degraded them further.

What I found interesting in the images were some of the compositions and colors. I decided to grab some screen shots and use them for my paintings! The image I chose today, is way before I was born, and I really have no idea where this house is, and I cannot tell who these people are! But the image really spoke to me, so I decided to paint this with pastels in a smaller format. Process shots below:

"The House", 4.5 x 6", pastel on PastelMat

Friday, February 07, 2014

Studio Work - View to the Hills

I finished the piece I started earlier this week tonight. I decided to try framing it directly against the glass, like some pastelists do, to see if I liked it. I'll take it back out of this frame later to see if much pigment stayed on the glass, although I will probably leave it in this frame as I sized the piece for this frame.
"View to the Hills", 6.5" x 12", pastel on 230 grit UArt sanded paper
 Forgive the reflections in the glass below:

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Snow Day in the Studio

I took a snow day off from work today. This winter continues to be rough. They said on the news that this is #5 in the most snow for January ever. So I spend some time in the studio today.

I was planning on using one of my tiny pastels as a reference, and decided to do an oil wash under painting. I was using a previously gouache toned 230 grit UArt sanded paper. Process shots below. I feel I still need to do something else to the foliage - either soften or go more graphic. I actually like the feel of the trees in photo #5 the best. I will let it sit for a few days before I do more:


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Painting with the Gang at the MAC

We finally had a break in the weather and I decided to meet up with the group at the MAC to paint on Saturday morning. As usual, I wasn't the first one to arrive and everyone had a good start before I even setup. I brought my tiny little pastel setup with my Judsons 5x7 Pocket Box. And since I arrived late, I only worked on a little 4x6 piece of 400 grit UArt sanded pastel paper.

There were several still lifes setup on the table, and I chose the teacup, teapot and sake pot. You can see the setup in the photos with the red arrow. Process shots below: