Sunday, March 27, 2016

Did you Know? Reuse Pastelmat?

I recently learned that I could wipe out a failed pastel painting on Pastelmat paper! That paper is one of my favorites as it grabs the pastel and holds on tight with very little dust. I thought I'd try removing a little 5x7 painting. Here is the before:
 The magic removal tool? Baking soda! You sprinkle dry baking soda on the paper, and rub it around with your hands until most of the old painting is removed. This was a medium grey color paper and this technique removed quite a bit of the painting.

I decided to paint a pastel version of an oil painting I did plein air as reference - top middle of this photo:
 And here's the finished little pastel:
Not bad, but not sure I'd bother removing an old pastel on a large sheet of Pastelmat this way.
While my hands were dusty, I got both my Heilman pastel boxes out and organized them for the upcoming plein air season! Yes, I like lots of greens and blues for my landscapes. These are the "Double Sketchbox" (smaller size one) and the "Backpacker" size Heilmans. These are the best pastel cases made - beautiful workmanship!

Backpacker size

Double Sketchbox size

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Back Outside! First Plein Air of 2016

We had a beautiful day for plein air. Today we painted in Gahanna at Creekside Park. The river was up from our heavy rain yesterday, so I turned to the side channel and painted that view.

I worked in pastel today.

Alcohol wash

I kept getting distracted watching the swan and ducks.

My camera battery died and it was hard to see the screen on my smartphone, so took a final photo at home.
Early Spring, 6x8, UArt 500 pastel

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Working on Brush Strokes

I'm trying to improve my brush strokes with oils. I haven't been having much luck composing interesting still life to use for my studying because I have such a limited time to paint. Buying loads of fruit and such isn't feasible and I try to keep clutter to a minimum, so collecting gobs of interesting "stuff" to paint isn't desired. I decided to work with some of the master painters by copying their work.

Now, don't get me wrong - I am a BIG believer in using your own designs, own photographs (NO photos from the web!!), and own compositions when you plan on selling or exhibiting your work in public. Just because the photos are on the web does not mean you can copy and call it your own!

But for classroom work, historically, students have studied and copied many master's paintings. Today, I used a section of a painting by a well known painter to study. This was SO helpful to me. I do not plan on exhibiting or selling this painting. This composition is not mine. I have always used this blog to document my work, mainly for my own use. I find it very helpful to look back at my work, see the process I used, and work to get better.

I will try this again. Below are progress shots from my work today: