Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cumberland Falls Continued

"Cumberland Falls Morning" 8"x12" pastel

"Cumberland River Boulders" 8"x12" pastel

"Cumberland River Downstream" 8"x12" pastel

"Beech Trees Trail #12" 12"x8"

Wednesday at Cumberland River area brought sunshine, warm temperatures and lots of beautiful scenery.

Above Laurel Falls

"Above Laurel Falls" 8"x12" on Wallis sanded paper

"Above Laurel Falls" cropped on Wallis sanded paper

If you read my blogs you know during my plein air adventures I'm always waffling between recording what is there and creating a better piece of art. Composition is usually the culprit.

Autumn adds another dimension to the puzzle - color. Autumn in full color is like a cheap persian rug -- splashes of color all over the place. In my drawing from above Laurel Falls as it spills out into Cumberland River I am taken with the small waterfall splashing into the pool before tumbling into Laurel Falls. 

The first photographed drawing is as I recorded it but in the second photograph I have cropped out the small falls on the left of the drawing to improve the composition. However I'm still perplexed by the abundance of color.

Now that I'm back at my studio I'd like to work on this image again.

Next week I was suppose to go to Natural Bridge for my last state park visit but the weather is turning quickly from fall to winter. Rain and cold are not appealing so I'll wait and drive up on Saturday when it's suppose to be sunny and 62 to draw the Natural Bridge and Red River Gorge area.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cumberland Falls Autumn Views

"Cumberland Falls 1" 8"x12" pastel on Uart paper with acrylic wash

"Cumberland Falls 2" 8"x12" pastel on Uart sanded paper

"Cumberland Falls 2" close-up

My Kentucky State Park adventure continues with Cumberland Falls State Park which is a beautiful spot especially in autumn.

The first image was created on Uart sanded paper toned with an acrylic blue/green/gray wash. My favorite paper is Wallis Belgium Mist which is a warm gray color but Wallis has production troubles and my order has been on back order for 3 months so I'm experimenting with recreating the color I enjoy on a sanded paper. Uart 400 has a similar grit texture as Wallis and I think it actually holds the pastel better. Then, of course, the Wallis paper arrived the week before leaving for Cumberland Falls; so now I have both papers to compare. This blue/green/gray underpainting makes a nice complementary color to the warm fall colors.

"Cumberland Falls 1" was created first and I wanted to capture the essence of the falls without too many details.

"Cumberland Falls 2" was drawn from a spot further down river and the sun was starting to drop along the ridge top illuminating the autumn foliage. This one was only 1/2 finished when it was time to go to dinner so I rubbed out some offending details and left just the impression of the bright orange trees.

So now the problem. The foliage, especially the color, is a distraction from the point of interest - Cumberland Falls. So in "Cumberland Falls 3" I cropped out most of the foliage to see if the composition is improved.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Colors at Jenny Wiley State Park

"Dewey Lake Evening"  8"x12"  pastel

"Morning Hike Maples"  12"x8"  pastel

"Lakeshore Dewey Lake 1"  8"x12"  pastel

"Dewey Lake Reflections"  8"x12"  pastel

"Reflections at Jenny Wiley State Park Dewey Lake"
Large, loud bass boats cut through
the silence of the morning.
Wave to them with my middle finger.
Quiet reflections and
falling leaves float gently.
Boat waves gouge through the colors. 
Just fish guys
Stay put for awhile.
4 pound bass flops against the glassy lake top
Hide, big fish, hide.