Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rockcastle County Hike

"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artists." - Oscar Wilde
In last Saturday's pastel workshop I demonstrated the oil wash method and created "Rockcastle County Hike". The colors are different from the "step by step" that I made for the students to follow and appears in the previous blog. 
The blue sky wasn't very interesting in the "step by step" so I decided to change it to a warm color to coordinate with the warmer fall colors. That created a problem with the color of the birch trees which have very light bark and in the step by step I used a peach color which now is the same color as the sky. Gray was too dull and the tan color was much too brownish so I used a very light lavender over those 2 colors plus edged one side with a cream color for the edge of sunlight.
This is my reference photo taken 25 years ago and it's faded which is good because that gives me more incentive to invent the colors
Before I apply the oil wash a sketch was created on the sanded paper using a soft pencil.
"Rockcastle County Fall" 16"x20" in sanded paper with an oil wash underpainting
 This is the final piece. Compare these colors to the "step by step" colors in my previous blog.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rockcastle County demo

For my next pastel workshop at Artists' Attic I'm demonstrating an oil wash underpainting before applying the pastel on top.
Richard McKinley is the king of oil washes and he's so skilled with the underpainting that many times he leaves quite a bit of the oil wash showing.
In this example you can see that I have covered almost all of the oil wash-not as skilled with my underpainting as Richard McKinley. However there is still an advantage to the oil wash method.
When an underpainting is created with a very thin application of oil paint, thinned to a stain with turpentine, the initial application of pastel sticks like glue to the sanded paper because there is no underpainting of pastel - no layer of pastel to fill up the tooth of the paper.
The layer of pastel is applied with a very light hand watching carefully to allow the creative play of shapes and colors to emerge from the oil underpainting.