View Full Version : The Spotlight - June 2015 - The Horizon Line

05-31-2015, 07:19 PM
Welcome artists!

Here is a quick recap of what The Spotlight is all about!

The Spotlight is an activity thread for pastel artists of all experience levels working from photos chosen by a monthly host. Most months, the host will choose photos from only one subject, putting that subject into “the spotlight,” so to speak! For example, one month the subject will be painting water, another month will spotlight flowers, etc.

Some months, rather than spotlight a subject, the focus will be on a challenge of some sort. In those cases, we might have a wider variety of photo references, but “the spotlight” will be on the challenge itself.

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, “no-pressure” atmosphere.

And, remember, no critiques unless specifically asked for.

The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month were taken by me or are from the Reference Image Library. You have permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month’s Spotlight is on…The Horizon Line!

Last month, during our Spotlight thread, we had a bit of a discussion on composition. I got on my soapbox and gave my opinion on why compositional rules were more of a hindrance than a help. Well, this month I decided that our Spotlight theme would be on a topic that is often the subject of one of those rules – the Horizon Line!When the Spotlight began over 5 years ago, I began working on a series of Spotlights that covered some basic compositional choices. In fact, the Spotlight on the horizon line was the first one I began working on way back in December 2009, but I skipped doing this Spotlight time and time again. Why?

Well, mainly because when it comes to the horizon line I am going against what is usually taught in contemporary art books. They make it fairly clear – do not place the horizon line in the center of your painting. Well, as I already mentioned, I don’t like rules – and this one may be the rule I like the least! So my early draft of this Spotlight was all about why I thought it was a stupid rule and why everyone should ignore it!

But the Spotlight isn’t meant to be about my opinions or a place for personal rants. So I’ve revised that earlier draft and will try to approach this Spotlight just as I approach all the others – compiling as much information as I can and then allowing us all to try things out, experiment – and then reach our own conclusions! (OK, a few of my opinions will still be expressed, but as always, feel free to ignore them!)

Note: The term “horizon line” in art has a couple different (though related) meanings. People use the term horizon line (as well as eye-level) when using linear perspective. It is the imaginary line where the vanishing points reside – and where all lines on the ground plane recede to. In this Spotlight, we won’t be concerned with perspective, but will use the term horizon line simply to denote the “line” where sky and land (or sea) meet in a landscape.

The traditional / basic method of placing the horizon line

Aside from the rule about avoiding placing the horizon line in the center of the painting, it’s hard to find a lot of information on horizon line strategies! So, I am relying on my own observations to formulate much of the information and opinions that appear in this Spotlight. More importantly, I urge you to do the same so that you can form your own opinions. Here are links to some of my favorite landscape painters from the past:




Winslow Homer:


William Trost Richards:


Having looked at many paintings in my time, I have deduced that for most of history, landscape artists placed the horizon line near the center of their paintings. Rare are the older paintings where the horizon line isn’t in the middle third of the painting. But, for the most part, when the horizon line is a fair amount below the center, it is because the subject is something tall, forcing the artist to look up. When the horizon line is a fair amount above the center, it is usually because the artist is looking down at the subject. If the artist is looking straight ahead, then the horizon line will be nearer the center than the other two alternatives, while using this basic approach.

For lack of a better term, I will simply call it the “look direction” method. Since this method follows the artist’s gaze at the subject, this approach will almost always result in the area of emphasis taking up the largest part – or the central area - of your painting.

Let’s take a look at some examples. On the left, are paintings with low horizon lines; on the right those with high horizon lines.


The artist (and therefore the viewer) is looking up in the paintings on the left in order to capture the main subject, whether it is the cliffs, the clouds or the trees. And as one looks up, the horizon line drops down and the subject is more or less centered in the painting. (From top to bottom: Claude Monet, Edgar Payne, and Winslow Homer.) For the paintings on the right, the artist (Renoir, Payne, Monet) is looking down at the main subject. Obviously, in the last example, the horizon line is completely off the top of the paper. This is fairly common when looking down at the near foreground.

Another way of looking at his approach is to ask yourself, “If I had a camera, would I need to point it up or down to capture the subject matter? Pretty simple really. In almost all cases, we wouldn’t even think about where the horizon line is.

The same applies, of course, when the subject is straight ahead and we don’t need to look, or point the camera, up or down. In those cases, often when the subject is in the mid or distant ground – and is not something especially tall – then the horizon line would be near the center.

Here are some Monet paintings where the horizon is near the center of the painting:


Some of these paintings actually demonstrate why the placement of the horizon line is often not that crucial. In many cases the horizon line isn’t even that visible. It may be hidden or interrupted by trees, cliffs, buildings, boats, etc. So, for the most part, concerns about the horizon line placement only occur when the horizon line is noticeably visible.

My point in showing you so many examples of centered horizon lines is not to say that a centered horizon line is the best place to put it, but rather to emphasize that many older paintings used this approach. The near centered horizon lines seem natural and don’t seem to be problematic (in my opinion).

As I mentioned, it was difficult to find paintings that had very low or very high horizon among older paintings. But in more recent times, artists are taking the horizon line to new and exciting places! Let’s take a look!

Beyond the basics

Let’s take a quick look at some strategies that go beyond the basics. As I mentioned, today’s contemporary art books often stress not placing the horizon line in the center of the painting. Here is a typical example (From Tony Couch’s book Watercolor – You can do it! Copyright 1987 by Tony Couch. Used here for educational purposes only.)

Couch writes, “If the horizon line will be easily seen in a painting, its placement is important: the last place it should be is through the center of the paper…because this divides the paper into two equal parts. This is repetition without variation, hence, boring.”

Here are the illustrations from the book that accompany the section on the horizon line placement:


Couch clearly advises against figure E, where the horizon line is centered. He also advises against figure F. Here, the horizon line is lowered slightly, but the placement of the row of trees and buildings above the horizon line still creates an equal amount of sky and land above and below those trees and buildings. Again, equal spaces = boring. Thus, figures G and H are the compositions that Couch would recommend.

OK, here’s my opinion creeping in and why these types of compositional rules just don’t work for me. While G and H may be more dynamic and less boring (no argument there), another book on composition may point out the importance of balance in a painting. If you like balance (and I admit that that is my #1 priority in composition) then G and H won’t work as they are very unbalanced, either being very top-heavy or bottom-heavy. Others may argue that balance is really only about horizontal (side to side) balance, and those folks won’t be bothered by G and H! It depends a lot on each person’s compositional preferences. (Personally, I like the composition in Figure F far more than G and H!)

That is why, because composition has all these various factors and personal preferences, I urge folks not to feel bound by any so-called rules that they read about. Learn the principles, use them as often as you want – but don’t feel bound by them!

(I would be remiss if I ignored one reason to follow today’s compositional “rules” about the horizon line. Since the rules are so often repeated, it means the judges and jurors of the various art shows and contests have it in their heads, too. If you are entering a show or contest, it may not be a good idea to buck the trends of the day.)

Ignoring my personal preferences (and you should definitely ignore them and create your own personal preferences), let’s see how today’s contemporary artists are pushing the limits of composition. Paintings where the horizon line is moved to a more extreme location up and down have become far more common.

Here are some with a very high horizon line – with the subject quite near the edges of the painting.

An older painting (1913) by Koloman Moser:


A painting by contemporary artist Richard Schmid with a high horizon line and the subject (or focal area) placed high in the picture.


And one by contemporary painter Don Stone:


(These last 2 images are under copyright and used for educational purposes only)

None of these examples (it seems to me) are using the “look direction” to determine the horizon line location. So, you might ask, why place the horizon line so high in the painting?

Aside from being more dynamic, I think the placement of the horizon line (and subject) high in the picture can create a different “feel” or atmosphere to a painting. I have a longer path to travel to get to my subject or destination in these paintings, compared to compositions that use less foreground. The subject seems more distant and remote.

Here are some contemporary paintings with very low horizon lines by Ann Packard:

(These images are under copyright and used for educational purposes only)


The first of these painting, might fall into the basic “look direction” category due to the fact that we would need to look up to see those fairly prominent and important clouds which play a major role in the painting.

The other two paintings, however, have almost all the “action” in the lower half of the painting. We are not looking up to see the boats or the house. To my eye, they make the subject (boats or house) seem smaller and, once again, more remote. The house, if at been painted larger and taking up the majority of the canvas, might seem majestic. But here, it seems fragile and almost inconsequential against the vastness of its surroundings! That low horizon line can really create a very different mood, it seems to me!

I think that these examples (both traditional and modern) point out that there are really no rules when it comes to the horizon line. What you have instead of rules, are possibilities of changing what your painting communicates depending on the horizon line location. More extreme horizon line locations may make the painting more dynamic. Changing the horizon line location may change the apparent distance to our subject, and change the subject’s relative size and relationship to its environment! It may create a very different mood or atmosphere!

Now, back to the centered horizon line. While I don’t believe there should be a rule that says “Don’t put your horizon line in the center,” that doesn’t mean you should put it there. If you do decide to use a centered horizon line, I would advise against placing it exactly in the center – especially when your horizon line is a fairly straight line, or completely straight as in a seascape. Placing a straight horizon line exactly in the center tends to look measured and artificial. A painting already has some man-made measurements and straight lines that can’t be avoided – the edges of your paper, board or canvas! So, it may not be a good idea to add a completely evenly spaced horizon to the list!

While we have discussed some of the reason to place the horizon line high or low in a painting, I can’t help wondering what advantages there are to it being in or near the center. Why did Monet (and many other artists) keep putting it there?

Maybe, in some cases, you have a scene where you want equal emphasis on the upper and lower halves of the painting. Many water reflection paintings may fall into this category (notice that 5 of the 12 Monets shown earlier are water reflection paintings).

And if you are aiming to create a more serene (as opposed to dynamic) composition, then a more centered horizon line may be a better option.

And finally, by placing the horizon line near the center, it might create a stronger subconscious reaction in the viewer that they are actually there looking at the scene, since the horizon line would be close to the center when someone looks straight ahead. In other words, when using the “look direction” method and that look is straight ahead, the compositional design may seem more natural or transparent. In looking at the Monet paintings shown earlier, I am less aware of the artist’s hand in designing the painting compared to the Ann Packard paintings, where the artist’s design is quite apparent.

I am not saying that a more transparent design when using the “look direction” method is better or worse than a noticeable design. They are just different approaches. Do note, however, that many contemporary art books stress “design’ as the most important aspect of a painting! I might also add that this “subconscious reaction” theory is totally my own. I have never seen this topic of transparent versus apparent design discussed anywhere.

OK, now it is our turn to try things out and experiment with that doggone horizon line! If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused – well, I don’t blame you! I presented a lot of information and opinion – much of it totally contradictory! The placement of the horizon line – and compositional decisions in general – seem to be very different today than what was used by many of the old masters. The “look direction” method can be strictly adhered to or completely ignored! Designs can be intentionally subtle or the most noticeable thing about a painting! Yes, very confusing, but also very freeing!

And here is our chance to freely explore all of these topics here in the Spotlight!

Here are this month’s photo references! You’ll notice that I chose photos where the horizon lines are near the center. So the challenge will be for YOU to do the cropping and the deciding where you want that horizon line to go! Now, to help you decide, feel free to do some sketches or thumbnails with the horizon line in different locations. Feel free to share these thumbnails or sketches along with your final paintings! And also feel free to share your observations, opinions and discoveries! How does changing the horizon line change the way you feel about the painting? Its mood and atmosphere? How does the horizon line affect your ability to communicate your pictorial goals!

(All reference photos by me)







As always, feel free to modify the references as much as you want!

And have fun!

05-31-2015, 09:00 PM
Wow, Don! I can't wait to read this. Looks like a fantastic lesson. And that pink sun. It's mine!! Thank you.

05-31-2015, 09:06 PM
Great reference and great lesson! I liked your observation about the centered horizon and mood. I agree with it, it looks natural and transparent. The other thing that feels natural and transparent in a painting is when the look direction agrees with the main subject, the thing the viewer would first notice if they were actually there. It really works for water reflection paintings because if that's the main subject the viewer's glancing back and forth going wow, cool reflections! Maybe starts checking them to make sure everything's there.

For some reason, maybe a binge of prehistoric documentaries, I kept wanting to put dinosaurs, sea reptiles and various fantasy creatures into the references. Mermaids with filed teeth right in the foreground. Giant long necked monster rearing up to mate the lighthouse, though it should be dark and foggy for that one.

Maybe it takes a writer to think of this one. If you're doing the painting for a book cover, designing it with plenty of extra space either top or bottom that's relatively featureless gives room for title and author's name. The Lonely House would just fit nicely over that house in the distance.

Maybe modern design ignores the serene choice because art's not supposed to be serene or natural any more. I did notice in all the centered horizon compositions the subjects seem pretty complex both below and above it, eye paths everywhere and lots to take in. Thanks for making the point about balance. I could feel it looking at all of them and that made sense.

I have a Deborah Secor skyscape of two enormous cumulus clouds emerging from a distant thunderbank where the horizon is a tiny sliver maybe a tenth of the painting - and still reads true if distant. Couldn't help glancing at that - moving the horizon changes space and scale so much!

06-01-2015, 07:03 AM
Don, your lesson this month is such interesting material! I "cropped" the centered Monet paintings by scrolling either up or down, and didn't see any that would have been improved by placing the horizon line off center. But you made an excellent point that judges today would likely consider a centered design to be "wrong," or at least unsophisticated.

Your simplification of the horizon line as the "look direction" is clever and expedient! Same, too, for the suggestion of thinking of whether you'd point the camera up or down.

Thanks for the photos of the examples--and for your beautiful reference photos! You went to a lot of work putting together this month's Spotlight.

Jay, let's see that pink sun painting!

Robert, good point that contemporary art isn't supposed to be serene or natural. However, it seems to me there are two distinct camps, art for the intelligentsia and art for the common folk. Intelligentsia art's motto seems to be, "It's not Art unless it's ground-breaking, crazy, thought-provoking, offensive or all of the above," whereas the results of online juried contests (and certainly my local juried exhibits) prove that the motto of Art for common folk seems to be, "It's only Art if it resembles Art of the 19th century or earlier." Those seem to be saying, "Be a little creative, but don't shock us too much!" And probably would include being judged by whether the artist followed the contemporary "rules" about off-center horizon lines. (And be sure to put a butt icon on your painting of, "The Monster Loves the Lighthouse"! :lol: )

06-01-2015, 08:57 AM
Blayne, You're a hoot! Butt icon...

Don: I'm trying the pink sunset. But I'm doing "thumbnails" by cropping and taking pictures on my iPad of the crops. Gives me some good ideas. I just love this reference. Thank you. I hope I can do it justice.

06-01-2015, 11:38 AM
Don: The sunset photo calls to me. I must a have a gazzilion similar photos of silhouetted palm trees at sunset from Florida. I have been intimidated by the dark silhouetts but in a previous post from you months ago, you suggested that even thought the photo reads as black there is ambient color that one can/should represent . I'm definitely going to try that. Also think it would be fun to do two paintings from a single reference: one with low horizon and one with high.

Thanks for the lesson!

06-01-2015, 12:45 PM
Maybe it's me but there is no link to this spotlight in the gallery?

06-01-2015, 03:45 PM
Don, you are a star!

Thank you so much for all your thoughts and hard work. I am going to print all your lessons and put them into a binder.

I am sorry I have been absent for so long. It's strange, but after finishing the parrot I have been feeling like my confidence dropped pretty low, because I know I will measure all my future works up against it :D Which means everything will be worse LOL
I believe I am not the first one who experience this and I do hope that your wonderful lesson will help me to focus on something new :)

I love the painting by Richard Schmid.
I have finally bought the Painterly Approach by Rob Rohm and most of the paintings in the book are oils. Do you think that oils and pastels have something in common? Is it possible to mimic one media by the other? I am thinking about saying "yes" when it comes to painterly style, but looking at the Richard Schmid's painting, I am not that sure...

06-01-2015, 04:51 PM
I have finally bought the Painterly Approach by Rob Rohm and most of the paintings in the book are oils. Do you think that oils and pastels have something in common? Is it possible to mimic one media by the other? I am thinking about saying "yes" when it comes to painterly style, but looking at the Richard Schmid's painting, I am not that sure...

I find that oils and pastels are quite similar - and much of the information in many art how-to books can be applied to multiple mediums. I, too, have the Rohm book and find it is one of the better ones out there.

I think a "painterly" style can best be defined as one using shapes rather than lines. So, pastels, especially since you can use the sides and block in shapes of color, are very good for the painterly style.


06-01-2015, 04:52 PM
Maybe it's me but there is no link to this spotlight in the gallery?

Not yet! But I notice that this thread has not been made "sticky" yet, either. The moderators must actually be having a life!!


06-01-2015, 05:20 PM
Ok guys. This was today's opus. This is M T Touch, lavender color, 12 x 16. Terry Ludwig pastels. (a big deal for me.) Don's sunset reference, Thank you Don. I'm done for today. C and C welcome, as always. Photo is iPhone..sorry a bit blurry. (Have to fix that trough.)

06-01-2015, 05:22 PM
Oooh looks like the Sunset is going to be the go-to reference for this month's Spotlight. I was tempted and may still do that one.

Blayne, LOL you have a point! Either art is supposed to be shocking, crazy, "original" (derivative of certain modern classics always called that) and offensive or at least jarring, or traditional and thus follow 19th century styles but with certain modern styles added such as no centered horizon, green avoidance and so on. I've mostly been applying those design rules but every now and then something has to break them and wouldn't look right if I didn't.

Norma, from my observations of real sunsets on many many road trips, there is a lovely point before all the color's gone from the silhouettes where they are still dark to medium dark green with black, blues and violets in the shadows. They can seem black against the lighter sky but there are value and color variations in the trees. This usually comes while there's lots of color like the photo and if you look closer, there are blued highlights in the treeline. Make sure it's a teal green, though it can be a very saturated dark teal it would lean toward blue of evening, possibly with little touches of gold at the tips where light catches them. That last would be dialing back the sunset a bit but well worth it! Just keep the sky bright and colorful and the gold accents would work.

Nick, agree with Don on Painterly. It's easy in pastels, I've become more painterly as I get deeper into them.

Jay, wow! I love your sunset. That's finite perfection. I can't analyze it. The cloud forms are wonderful and the composition exquisite, colors sharp and clear, textures fantastic, it's flawless. Mat and frame that.

I think I may do the sunset too even though I'm not sure I could out do yours! But I did my first round of thumbnails based on the first reference and left out the boat. I put birds in some of them. I don't like putting boaters in for some reason, it just bugs me and leaves me feeling crowded in the wilderness if there's boaters ahead of me.

June Pastel Spotlight Thumbnails
9" x 12"
Tombow dual tip markers on sketch paper
Photo reference by DAK723 for June 2015 Pastel Spotlight challenge.

06-01-2015, 05:49 PM
Thanks Robert. You're always so kind. It was fun but so interesting that on my computer, the water was very green and dull. On iPad it was nearer to the colors I showed.

06-01-2015, 06:52 PM
Nick, if you had stopped painting when you did the beautiful cardinal you framed, you never would have done the parrot! Just saying ... :lol:

Robert, nice thumbnails!

Jay, gorgeous sunset! Don was so clever to present all the reference photos with a central horizon line, and I see you have chosen to move yours up, which works very well. I like all the colors you've chosen. Your sky is beautiful! I see the trough you mentioned. There is a shallower one in the reference photo as well, so it's due to the play of light on water, I suppose. I'm sure it'll be an easy fix (she says, laughing wickedly as she remembers her own experience with easy fixes). :evil: :lol:

06-01-2015, 08:40 PM
Thanks Blayne. Shall I send the painting to you for an easy fix???

06-01-2015, 08:46 PM
Jay, Nice sunset! Thanks for starting us off this month! I like your horizon line location - very natural and gives us more water than sky letting us see more of the sun's reflection which leads us to the setting sun!

Robert, Glad to see some thumbnails! A quick way to try different compositions!


06-02-2015, 06:36 AM
Thanks Don. That reference was love at first sight. Great photo.

06-02-2015, 10:11 AM
Thanks for your insights, Don. Landscapes aren't typically my thing, but your lesson and photos have inspired me. I think I may give one a try!

06-02-2015, 11:35 PM
Don, thank you for another inspiring month. I think you did well at explaining the Horizen or "look" line which can be very confusing. I agree that it depends on your subject matter, mood and general daring as to where to put this line. I tend like you to prefer the more centered approach but have done it other ways too. I am not sure if I will make it this month either as I am currently playing in the clay! I go through moods too and jump between, pastel, oils and clay. I am tempted by a couple so I will see. I always enjoy the discussions that go on here though so will lurk!

06-03-2015, 03:55 AM
Im pretty new to pastels and very new to landscapes (this is my first one!) ... its also the first time ive participated in one of these features so feel free to pass on your C & C's
I think I probably didn't pay enough attention to the actual horizon in this ... it isn't very straight ... I did try to not put it in the centre of the page though as advised ... I had a lot of fun, I didn't spend a lot of time on it as I didn't want to get to bogged down ... critique away :)




06-03-2015, 09:01 AM
Given: Very nice first landscape!
When I do something with a horizon, I use a ruler to get the line straight. I go across with a pastel pencil as a guide for the drawing. I don't know if others do.

Your rocks are very well done and believable..especially for someone new to pastel! Good job.

Would you like to tell us the surface you're using, the size of the painting and the type of pastel? We find it interesting.

Welcome to the Spotlight. Hope you do many more paintings.


06-03-2015, 09:53 AM
I like the sparkles in the water. The rocks are well formed and the birds are cool too. Good rounded perspective on the lighthouse. Well done!

06-03-2015, 10:07 AM
Nice work, Given! Your rocks look great. Interesting how the close crop of Don's original image changes the whole feel of the scene. By eliminating elements the lighthouse seems even more isolated.

Well done!

06-03-2015, 06:28 PM
Thanks all :) my main reason for participating in this spotlight is ive been struggling with my backgrounds ... I thought this was a good way to spend some time playing with the elements that usually make up a background.

Jay I've been using pastels for around 6 weeks and so far really enjoy the freedom they have given me ... although I find im bogging myself down when it comes to the backgrounds.
I considered using a ruler, but I didn't want to get to formal about the whole piece (trying to keep the vibe of painting it flowing)
Robert, Do you think I need to work the sky any more? it looks a little unfinished to me ... but maybe that's the bit where I tart to get locked down and the flow disappears?
Thanks Joe .... I really wanted to focus on the landscape which is why I cropped it the way I did ... to much happening in the piece I think I would have put to much focus on the subjects :)
The feedback was great .... I might work on another one today!

Emma :wave:

06-03-2015, 07:52 PM
Oh and I used pastel pencils (Derwent) and medium pastels on A4 Canson paper ... nothing fancy in my "tool kit" lol

06-03-2015, 08:20 PM
Emma, Thanks for joining us! Nice job on the lighthouse painting! Very well done for your first landscape!


06-04-2015, 06:55 AM
Welcome to Spotlight, Joel! I hope we see of some of your work here!

Jen, i certainly understand jumping between mediums--clay is fun. I've done that myself all my life and currently my medium is dirt and plants, hoping my efforts will yield some mid-summer and late summer color.

Emma, welcome! You did a great job on that painting! Those rocks certainly look like rocks, making that jetty look just like ones I have seen IRL. (Are they called jetties, or breakwaters, or ...?) The ocean, sky and birds make a lovely scene!

06-04-2015, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the greeting, Blayne. I've started on one of Don's photos, so if all goes as planned you won't have too long a wait!

06-04-2015, 01:07 PM
Good luck, Joel. Looking forward to it!

06-06-2015, 12:13 AM
Emma, yes, I think it would help if you push the colors in the sky. You have some nice shapes going in the clouds, the more abstract and irregular the better. But the blue areas can be a bit stronger. Gradate the sky darkest at the top of the painting (toward zenith) and lightest at the horizon. The values you have are great for right by the horizon, but shade stronger blue the farther up you go. Your birds are silhouetted against clouds, but with stronger blue the white areas on them would stand out well against bare sky.

I didn't mention that because I didn't want to overload with critique and mostly just point out the strengths in the painting. But since you asked, yes! Push those blues! Think about a nice strong aqua stick in a small set - that is a good value for blue sky up toward the top of the painting. Laid in solid. Then shade gradually lighter as it comes down. Also there's pinkish color in the pale clouds which gives a lovely sense of dawn light! Keep that! The blue leans more greenish the farther South you are and more toward summer, more violet cast in the North and the winter. Mid-blues work in between. It's good to not use exactly the same hue as the water.

06-06-2015, 09:27 AM
Blayne, we call them piers or jetties here in Australia, thank you for your feedback :)

Robert! Thank you for going on further ... im here to push myself and id stashed the above piece away waiting for some C & C to get it finished ... if I get time over the next few days ill try to apply what you suggested ... it makes very good sense so I hope I can apply it well!


06-08-2015, 02:54 PM
Wow, thanks! I'm posting my skyscape first color study done in hard pastels on sketch paper. Values and hues are approximate, I had to blend colors using only a 12 color set for them. But here it is - stormy skyscape verson one...


Looking at it at a distance, I need to adjust something with the values. Definitely wanted left side darker than the right. I broke up the straight shoreline with deliberate inlets and extrusions to slow it and make it more musical. Done from the middle left thumbnail on previous page.

Skyscape Color Study (Fixed)
5" x 7"
12 Derwent pastels on brown Bee Bogus Recycled sketch paper
Photo reference Pastel Spotlight #1 scene by DAK723

Progress! Much as I'd like to do multiples this month, that will depend on the weather. I'm taking my time with this one and doing it as a demo. I'll post the WIP thread today in Spotlight too.

06-08-2015, 03:45 PM
Very nice Robert. It looks like it's pouring! very nice.

06-08-2015, 03:52 PM
Well it's Pastel Monday at my house so I tried the scene with the canoe. I wanted to leave it empty because I don't do people!!! But I stuck some in. Someone had to paddle!!
This is 7 x 12 on Uart 400 Pastels are Schmincke, A.S.for the sky, mainly, and then also Terry Ludwig. Pastel pencils for the poor little people. (One guy lost the muscles in his upper arm!)
But I get a prize for perservence! I reached to pick up a pastel in a new TL box that I haven't used yet and a nice black spider popped up. :eek: :eek: Do you think Terry will charge me extra? I put the box in a big plastic bag. Now what???? :( :confused: :lol:

06-08-2015, 09:18 PM
Wow! Jay, yours is lovely! I like that sense of mist on the water. Love how you did the trees too, plenty of depth among them. Gorgeous mountains. Best of all that sky, it's wonderful. You left a good eye path among the trees leading into the greater distance. This rocks.

As for the spider, putting it in a plastic bag would help. Get someone who's not afraid of spiders to gently take it apart and move the spider outdoors where it belongs? I usually try to catch them under a glass or something and slide a card under it till I can get them outside. Up here I might have just used a boot though, it's a lot of stairs to get outside. Or just tossed it out the hallway window, they're light weight and it'd be a heck of a climb back up.

06-09-2015, 07:21 AM
Robert, good job with only 12 pastels! I think your values are spot on. (And I catch spiders the same way you recommended. :) )

Jay, that's beautiful! I love that dramatic sky! I think the values and colors you choose are just right--nice, bold colors. Frame it!

06-09-2015, 07:34 AM
Thanks Robert. When it dries up outside I will take the box of pastels outside and take it apart, one by one. Let the spider escape outside. Thanks a good suggestion about the plastic cup.

Blayne: thank you. The people are ok? I was a little timid with them. I made a tiny sketch of them and cut it out. Placed it on the lake to see where to put them since I had cropped the picture. Helped me with the composition. But not with the drawing of them. Thanks for commenting.

06-09-2015, 07:44 AM
Robert, Looking good! It's interesting to see how much prep work you put into a painting! Good lesson for those of us (like me) that tend to jump right in to the final work! Thumbnails and preliminary sketches work things out beforehand!

Jay, Nice done! I think your people look fine! At that size, just a small shape of color here and there is all you need! The low horizon line lets us see that nicely painted sky!


06-09-2015, 08:24 AM
Don, I don't usually put this much prep work in. I probably should but your lesson made me slow down and do it. Much to the improvement of the painting, I'm sure! But the canoe reference demanded it.

Some photos have an obvious crop or it's even more tempting not to crop. Taking the canoe out changed where the focal area is and I wanted that in the sky for a skyscape. The birds will go in on the serious painting but probably not till the last stage.

Most often my thumbnails stage takes place opening the reference in GIMP and just playing with enlarging and changing the shape of the window. I move the sliders a lot and go through many more than half a dozen possibilities.

06-09-2015, 11:57 AM
Thanks Don. I forgot to thank you for the reference.

Robert, I had trouble with the canoe also. I wanted it in but wanted a big sky. Yet without the canoe, I thought the water lacked something. So I put the canoe but not calling too much attention.
My husband, my critic! Doesn't like something. He thinks the canoe might have to be more defined or something. I don't want it the center of interest. I wanted it secondary.

Anyone have any suggestions?

06-09-2015, 02:55 PM
Thanks Don. I forgot to thank you for the reference.

Robert, I had trouble with the canoe also. I wanted it in but wanted a big sky. Yet without the canoe, I thought the water lacked something. So I put the canoe but not calling too much attention.
My husband, my critic! Doesn't like something. He thinks the canoe might have to be more defined or something. I don't want it the center of interest. I wanted it secondary.

Anyone have any suggestions?
As per the canoe, you could add a few "tighter" lines or a couple darker accents to create some harder edges - although at the size of your painting it may not be possible. And as the painting is somewhat soft and atmospheric, you may not want the canoe to be any different. As far as the center of interest goes, I think that almost anytime you put a living thing (people, animals, etc) or man made things in a landscape, they will be the center of interest no matter what. The opposite probably applies too - if you put a tree in a cityscape, it will probably stand out and draw the eye. So, alas, I think the canoe with people will be the center of interest or the "subject" no matter what you do...

Of course, studies have shown that people often have very different reactions as to what they look at first, second, third, etc. when looking at a painting.

Just my 2 cents,


06-09-2015, 03:36 PM
Thanks Don. You reinforced what I was thinking. Keep it soft. It all goes together. The photo of the painting is a bit blurry, btw. Sorry.

From across the room, I notice the sky. Then as I come closer, I notice the canoe and people. Kind of a little surprise. I hope that works for others too.

Thanks for explaining about the "subject" Very interesting.

06-10-2015, 12:00 AM
I was drawn to the sky and didn't think the people needed more details. But that's me, I chose not to put them in to avoid making them a distraction. Now I'm getting ready to turn the canoe into an island expanded enough to go off the left side of the painting and the people into trees, but lots more of them. Or maybe dinosaurs. I could go with my first idea. Naw, just island. Not sure I want to try dinosaurs in pastel in a painting where they'd just be little inch tall squiggle gestures. They might work better in the foreground of a different one.

06-10-2015, 07:01 AM
Robert, it's like watching a movie trailer, "Coming soon! The dinosaurs in pastel!" I'd love to see it!

06-12-2015, 01:54 PM
Here is my horizon challenge. It was a challenge. I started with a low horizon line... and then... it moved itself up almost to the middle. How did that happen???? The horizon gremlins. This is 5 x 7 on gray art spectrum paper. It is based on personal photo reference of Florida sunset which I have also appended. C&C always eagerly welcomed. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jun-2015/1893196-june_spotlight_florida.jpghttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jun-2015/1893196-OPVS_Sunset.jpg

06-12-2015, 03:48 PM
Lovely photo Norma. You did an interesting sky. I like your tree. I'm not sure I would bend it like that unless you want the lower part to look like a shadow?

I think you could have a bit of pink in the water? Perhaps? Like the sky? Just a touch. You're just hearing me be picky about a very nice painting. The fronds on the tree are very well done

06-13-2015, 10:59 AM
Very nice, Norma, even if the horizon gremlins did move the horizon a bit! I think you could put some darker accents in the tree fronds, but I really like your palm tree. I do agree with Jay about straightening the tree a bit. I thought the bottom half was a reflection until I looked closer. You did a gorgeous job on the water and those reeds or cattails there.

06-13-2015, 12:00 PM
Norma, Very nice sunset painting and photo! I think the fact that the tree bend lines up with the top water line is what is causing the confusion as to whether it looks like a reflection. In the photo the bend is much more subtle, too. Nevertheless, nice painting!


06-17-2015, 04:52 AM
Hi, I am sorry for being away for so long. Real life has been emotionally demanding lately and I have stopped painting. But I am lurking :D

06-17-2015, 07:45 AM
Nick. Oh do let some of the emotions make their way onto a painting. But if not, we're happy to have you lurking. Hope you feel better soon.

I found some sites that might cheer you up. Baby peregrine falcons. Live. You can snap photos of them. The ones at mdc.mo.gov are four fluffy birds. And then there are other webcams at ab-conservation.com. If they are dark, then it is still dark at the location. I hope you enjoy them.


06-17-2015, 08:50 AM
Nice to hear from you, Nick! I do hope your life soon gets on an even emotional keel. Hugs to you--hang in there! I'm lurking, too. I began a painting of the photo with the lake and white house but then the plants I ordered arrived, so I've been outside, tending to the yard and the garden. Unfortunately, I hurt my back in the process, and it's painful to stand or walk. Since my painting supplies are set up for me to work while standing, and I've never worked well while sitting down, I haven't been painting, either. :(

06-17-2015, 07:33 PM
Blayne. I'm so sorry to hear about your back. Sending healing wishes.

06-18-2015, 09:51 AM
Beautiful sky, Norma! I love the colors and shapes in your clouds. Horizon creep can easily happen, can see why you had that problem. Cool palm tee, the fronds are gorgeous!

Blayne, be careful after hurting your back. So rough that you can't get used to painting sitting down, but sketching or thumbnailing may be possible. I'm used to painting seated because I can't stand very long and would never finish anything if I had to stand at an easel. It helps me to work small when I do, so studies and sketches may be easier than full size painting.

Or just relax and watch a bunch of videos, read art books, take it easy. Do what you can to get comfortable because that really does speed healing.

06-18-2015, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the sympathy and advice, Jay and Robert! In trying to figure out how to work while sitting down, I've gained a whole new respect for people who can organize art supplies, especially thousands of pastels, to keep them in reach in order to work while seated. HOW do you do it? I'm hoping my inability to stand is temporary, because I'd think an ideal work station would involve low tables for storage--maybe a U-shaped work area. No place for that setup right now. But I have done some thumbnails, and I can look across the room at prior paintings and criticize my past efforts. :lol:

06-18-2015, 05:43 PM
Oooh, my dream setup, Blayne! I would love to have a U-shaped work area. That would truly rock. I'm looking around at how I have things arranged and that might even be feasible given what I have is a swivel chair. I'd just have to figure out exactly where and how to put everything. Might do that on Tuesday if I don't need Elgie to go to the store for anything.

I recycled a piece of sanded paper with a drawing on it that I didn't recognized, cleaned it off as well as I could and decided to dedicate to my Spotlight Demo. So here it is - the sketch on charcoal after all those thumbnails.

Storm Skyscape Charcoal Sketch
7 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Charcoal on (I think) Fisher 400 sanded pastel paper.
Photo reference by DAK723 morphed to my design.

I've now added a spit of land on the left to keep the lake from being boring and put some bigger trees on it to stand in front of the whole treeline and become a secondary focal area. The storm is going to be awesome. The storm is where I'll really have fun with color. Values on the storm will be a bit stronger than sketched. Did not fill in the value on the mountains with the charcoal, that comes in the dry or wet underpaintng. I haven't decided which yet. Shoreline is musical and natural, will probably have some rocks by the time I'm done and the shape of it.

06-19-2015, 05:56 AM
Robert, I like this! I like it just as it is!! The trees have moods and personalities. Really nice.

Blayne, try standing with one foot up on a little stool? Keep changing which foot is up. Even a little pile of books under one foot. Wishing you well.

06-19-2015, 07:38 AM
Nick and Blayne, Sorry to hear about your various woes. I hope you all fell better soon! Don't worry if you're not painting!

Robert, Looking forward to see how your painting progresses from the thumbnail!


06-21-2015, 11:29 AM
Happy Father's Day to all.

06-22-2015, 09:59 AM
Thanks for the good, healing wishes, Jay and Don! I'm walking a little better. Fingers crossed I continue to improve.

Robert, your sketch looks great! Good luck with getting your work area arranged.

Nick, I hope you can join us soon!

06-22-2015, 06:00 PM
The month is coming to an end, so I'll post what I got done a few weeks ago. You may not recognize the white house from Don's photo (sorry, Don!). I know I need to refine the drawing of the house and its reflection, as well as do something to make that dock look like a dock. I wanted a swampy, bayou look for the lake, with Spanish moss in the trees in the background. Any ideas or C&C welcome!


06-22-2015, 06:47 PM
I have a habit of starting at the end of these spotlight to see what people created. Your painting reads perfect to me. It has a nice impressionist style to it. Pam :wave:

06-23-2015, 08:10 AM
Blayne, thanks for transporting me to Italy. I'm sure that villa is on an Italian lake so that must be Italian moss hanging down. Maybe it's a Southern lake!! I can even hear the gondolier singing.

Lovely mood in the painting

06-23-2015, 08:11 AM
Blayne, Lovely painting! Very impressionistic!


06-23-2015, 01:32 PM
Don, I hope it's ok. I'm doing my own reference. It's on topic and was calling to me after your beautiful sunset reference. There is not too much going on here so I thought maybe you wouldn't mind. I hope not.

This is Uart 400, 12 x 16. Reference is my own. Terry Ludwig. Watercolor underlay and then one hour of pastels, only the first layer but I'm tired now so I thought I'd share. Hope all three uploaded.

06-23-2015, 02:15 PM
Thank you so much, Pam, Don and Jay, although I don't feel I deserve many kudos given the rough look of the painting.

Jay, yours is looking fabulous! Beautiful color harmony and perfect scumbling, although I realize you probably intend to do more smoothing. At least from the sound of your comment, you quit because you are tired and not because you're finished? I like it very much the way it is but think that making the beach a little smoother, and darker, would make a nice contrast.

06-23-2015, 03:25 PM
Oh thanks Blayne. It is not finished. I'm guessing it will need another three or so hours. It took me forever to decide on the size and dimensions and then divide the space. And set out all the pastels. I hope to get back to it tomorrow. Very rough stage right now.

06-24-2015, 01:31 PM
The shore birds flew away before I got to them. No, I wanted critique before I attempt them. I will have to practice anyway. Never did anything like them But how is the general color etc. Critique welcome, please.

My reference, 11 x 16 Uart 400 Terry Ludwig pastels.

Do I need the shore birds?

06-24-2015, 02:11 PM
I'm liking this very much! Do go ahead and sprinkle in some shore birds, maybe even a few on the left. The sand color bothers me, but I don't know what it needs. My wild, impetuous brain says dark reds or reddish purple. Be forewarned--that's the same brain that frequently chooses my clothing, and those clothes in the closet look at each other, and point and laugh. :lol:

ural jones
06-24-2015, 03:27 PM
This is a nice bayou , soft and it has a good feel to it. I couldn't offer any advise because structurally it looks correct and the colors are nicely done.
Any advise regarding color would change the feeling and I would leave that to the artist, Blayne. I like the cypress trees too!
(clothes that point are RUDE :lol: )

ural jones
06-24-2015, 03:33 PM
Jay, I think your representation is coming along well. The colors are good and I can only suggest you should try to make the water look more calm with your strokes.
I think the sand fence looks good juxtaposed to the clouds but I'm sure it is tricky to do .....

06-24-2015, 04:30 PM
Blayne, I promise not to keep my painting in your closet. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep playing with it.

Ural, Thank you. IRL, the water is quite calm. I guess the camera picked up certain colors. The fence...maybe I'll try that another time on a small one. In watercolor, you can use a piece of mat board to make the slats. Maybe it's too boring without the fence. Hmmm, more to think about.

I'm looking at it myself and I think I want more hot orange in the sky. It amazes me how we become blind to things when we are up close and painting. I think maybe the gray clouds on the left should come out and be replaced.

Keep the suggestions coming!! Thank you. (and I'm waiting for your sunset.)

ural jones
06-24-2015, 04:38 PM
O.K, this is my attempt at the Spotlite regarding the horizon. I did make a few changes.
As to C&C go for it but I can tell you, this is already sitting in the round file.....:lol: :lol: :lol:


06-24-2015, 05:22 PM
Oh, didn't you like it? I do! It doesn't deserve to be in the round file....poor sunset. Thought it was sinking into the water. Little did it know it was sinking into the round file.
What don't you like, Ural?

06-24-2015, 06:03 PM
Ural! Get that out of the round file! That's really pretty, with those unusual frosty colors! It almost seems like an abstract, with its beautiful minimalist feel. Put it into a very plain silver frame with no mat and see how good it looks! Post a picture of it framed, please.

06-24-2015, 06:05 PM
Blayne, very atmospheric swamp painting! Love the Spanish moss. It does remind me a bit of New Orleans, well done on the atmosphere.

Ural, your painting is simple and beautful. Rescue it this minute, you don't toss successes like that. If it's not what you wanted it to be just store t till it finds the right owner and don't show the reference. You simplified well and made the water much bigger, the boat much more important.

Jay - yes, put in some shore birds. Blow up your photo and then move the shore birds closer. Don't stick them way out on the side too close to the edge. Birds would improve this. Backlight them so if they're against a darker area the bright edge from light hitting them makes them stand out. I don't see a problem with your sand color, the gradient is beautiful.

Still fighting off this infection in my face. Been sleeping like my cat and taking antibiotics. No progress yet on mine but hopefully in a couple of days I'll finally be over it.

06-24-2015, 06:56 PM
Jay, Looking good! Your painting has a lot of atmosphere! Not sure if it needs the birds - they are so small they would be very tough to put in. I might try a few flying birds in the sky instead!

Ural, This should not be in the round file!! Not sure what you don't like about it - it looks good to me!

Robert, Hope you are feeling better soon.


06-24-2015, 08:16 PM
Robert, thanks for the backlit bird tip. Have to try it.

I'm so sorry to hear of your infection. Sending healing wishes. Hope you are better so soon.

06-24-2015, 09:11 PM
Thanks Don. I'll have to do practice sheets if I do put birds. Either walking or flying. (No experience.). There is always one more challenge to keep me interested!

ural jones
06-25-2015, 09:31 AM
Well everyone, I do appreciate the nice comments re: sunset horizon. So as to answer why I don't like it, it really isn't what I wanted it to be. The sticks are not doing what I tell them to do! And, I am using the sticks I have , not buying more. If one keeps piling up stacks of unsatisfactory stuff, there's gonna be an awful lot of thrash left behind in the end! So, I feel it is best to do the deleting now since it is my choice.:rolleyes:

06-25-2015, 11:19 AM
That is a good valid reason. If it's not what you want, you're the boss. But you have to train those sticks!!! (enroll mine too in stick training, please.)

Ok, worked on this sea. Tried to calm the sea, added birds, changed the sky, hopefully for the better.
My reference, Uart 400, 12 x 16. Ludwig pastels plus Great American and a little Girault. C and C most welcome.
P. S. Horizon is straight. Photo distorted. Sorry. iPhone

06-25-2015, 12:52 PM
I absolutely love the birds you added! Just perfect! I really like all the colors you've chosen, too. I'm not sure yet whether the rocks that point in an arrow shape are too emphatic, grabbing attention too quickly. Wait and see how others weigh in on that. But, overall, very beautiful!

Robert, thank you for your compliment on mine--if anyone here knows what Spanish moss looks like, I imagine it's you, since you've lived there! I bet Ural may know, also? I've only driven through the South, never gone boating on a swamp.

06-25-2015, 01:01 PM
Thanks Blayne. The iPhone pushes blue a bit. The rocks are showing up more in the photo than in the painting, I think. But I'll take notice when I'm closer to it. Thanks for commenting.

06-25-2015, 04:22 PM
Jay, it's fabulous. I wish I could join the birds.

ural jones
06-25-2015, 04:41 PM
Great job Jay! all you need is a frame. I think my sticks are not being tutored correctly. But, hey it's only time and energy, right? Lately, I have taken to attaching a squeeze clip to the stick and keeping my fingers clean.It looks better to me, and as you say, I am the boss!

Blayne, Spanish Moss is just as you have depicted it, minus the mosquitoes, of course!

Robert, take especially good care of the infection. You just cannot be too careful with that.

06-25-2015, 06:56 PM
Nick: thank you. My birds are not quite the quality of your birds!!

Ural: Thanks. So you're putting one of those black metal clips to told the pastel? But then you can't paint with the side, right? I do most of my painting with the side of the stick but I wear those thin gloves. When my hands get warm, I switch to another pair. Use them over and over. Whatever works, right?

06-25-2015, 07:13 PM
Ural, what kind of squeeze clip is firm but gentle enough not to squish a pastel? I bought one of those holders for pastels, but it was a waste of money. Either it squished the pastel, or the pastel didn't fit.

ural jones
06-26-2015, 08:51 AM
Blayne, I am trying the black squeeze clip with the chrome squeezer handles. The only pastel sticks I use that way are the Nu Pastel hard sticks.
Now that I have your attention, look at this drawing and see if you think I got the perspective right.
We are leaving this am to go to the cooler altitudes so I will be back Mon.
Anyone ,CC?

06-26-2015, 09:10 AM
If I may comment Ural. I THINK the line on your eye level would be straight. Everything above, going down, everything below, going up. So there should be a level line somewhere. I think. Trying hard myself.

06-26-2015, 06:55 PM
Ural, check camera angle. If the vertical on that building is straight upright, your perspective is fine. Here's another trick. If it's not, just tilt the painting slightly till it is since it matches the angle of the tree trunk more or less.

It looks good! I've tilted paintings and drawings in the mat to get them straight. Also, it is within the degree of slump that buildings that old get with time. When I did a street scene in New Orleans, I thought I'd screwed up horribly but it was that the old buildings DID lean every which way. No two at the same time. Subsidence does it.

Your verticals look parallel enough for plausible. Enjoy!

Jay, wow, love the birds skimming through the sky! Like the final touches, it sings now! Frame it. This one's a keeper!

06-26-2015, 08:33 PM
Thanks Robert. How are you feeling? Better I hope? Sending wishes.

06-26-2015, 10:39 PM
Cross your fingers, just took last antibiotic and feels like it's gone. Continuing to use peroxide to avoid reprise. Just hope this is the end, really don't want to have to go in again.

06-27-2015, 04:58 PM
Ural, the vanishing point won't be too far outside your painting. I think you could put the painting flat on a table with a blank piece of paper to the right and find the vanishing point where the roof line meets the bottom line of the building. Then draw lines! I'd draw the roof line and lines for the tops and bottoms of the windows. (At least, I think that's how it's done. Experts, please weigh in!) And thanks for describing the clip you use. I think those would crush a softer pastel.

Robert, I sure hope you're on the mend!

06-27-2015, 08:32 PM
Jay, Very nice job on your painting! Birds very nicely inserted!

Ural, Nice painting! Since a pastel painting isn't a tight architectural drawing, I think a certain amount of leeway is OK for perspective issues. I guess each person needs to choose for themselves how accurate they want to be. I did throw a few perspective lines onto your painting. I hope you don't mind. Things line up pretty well. the nearest vertical is a little slanted, and the windows above the entrance are slightly higher (and they may well be). Not enough to worry about, in my opinion.



06-27-2015, 08:39 PM
Thanks Don. Thanks for being gracious about my using my own reference.

ural jones
06-29-2015, 07:13 AM
Robert it is great to hear of your recovery!
Jay, I appreciate your comments re: eye level, though I don't really know what you mean?
Blayne, you are correct and I am grateful.
Don, thanks for the lines to prove the accuracy. I agree about the looseness of the effect because I want it to be very casual in effect.
As I see it the eye level falls about where the bottom window sills are located. (the level line)
My feeling is to show a casual stroll in the warmth of a sunny day.

06-30-2015, 01:25 PM
One more stab at a sunset this month. I think my eyelids are sunburned now.
This is Don's sunset on 9 x 12 Uart 600 (to try.) Hard pastels then GA and Terry.
C and C most welcome. (The boat sailed away.)

06-30-2015, 03:01 PM
Jay, Very lovely! Love those color transitions in the sky from red to violet to blue!


06-30-2015, 03:36 PM
Jay, I like the white marks in the sky very much. The water surface is lovely. When I remember my first (and only :D) boat painting, I know that water surface was something I had no idea how to paint.

I am not quite sure about the distant line of the sea. Even if the sea is rough, wouldn't the waves be tinier?

It's a lovely painting. :)

06-30-2015, 04:15 PM
Thanks Don. Your beautiful beautiful reference is a big favorite in this house. That's why I had to do a second one. Thank you for that.

Nick. Thank you.
There was land on the other side of the water. This was a lake that Don photographed. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. Did you mean that dark tree line?
Thank you for commenting. It's so nice to hear from you.

06-30-2015, 06:04 PM
Jay, I love your latest. It's fantastic.

I'm better, but still resting up to regain my strength. I wasn't up to pastels today so my planned landscape will just go up in the Studio next month when it's done. At least it's marked up on good paper.

I just don't see how I'll get it done this afternoon when feeling this tired. So at least I participated and planned one. Next month more! If I hadn't lost a week in there I'd have got it done.

06-30-2015, 07:07 PM
Thanks Robert.

You are such a good participant in spotlight, we'll look forward to you next masterpiece ....tomorrow!!!! Feel better. Rest.

06-30-2015, 11:21 PM
I am sorry Jay. I don't know what I was thinking about. Probably about a seaside vacation... I noticed the trees, but still thought it was a sea, hmm
:) I meant the line between the water and the trees. I thought that it was a bit too wavy. But please feel free to forget my comment. It's a beautiful painting.

07-01-2015, 05:57 AM
Nick, you're right. That's my unsteady hand. Going the surface with a bit of this and a bit of that. In the distance, it is too wavy. I was hoping it would look like an uneven shoreline. The part on the left was a reflection of sorts.

Thanks so much for commenting. You observations are alway spot on target! Will you join us in the next spotlight?

ural jones
07-01-2015, 07:49 AM
Very nice Jay! I am jealous of your sunset. The sky is great , that is the sky I wanted but couldn't do.
(:rolleyes: ummm ~ that wasn't a sailboat.... )

07-01-2015, 08:08 AM
Thank you Ural. I started out with nupastels, quite far into the painting but it seemed like I couldn't quite get those colors by the sun without Terry Ludwig style pastel. Maybe it's the way they are applied? They are like a loaded gun with a hair trigger.

And also I was using sanded paper. These things give me an advantage because I can layer over layer if I don't like what's there.

You can make your own sanded surfaces..I'm sure you know that.

Terry is having a sale on July 19, I think. He sells some unloved or dinged or dented pastels cheaper at that time. Doesn't take requests. Maybe a good time to try something new? Even though I have sets, I'll still get some because it's fun to get random pieces and because they are seconds, they are not "precious".

It's never too late, you know.

Ps. The crew flew the Jolly Roger and took off with the boat. Better?

07-01-2015, 08:56 AM
Straight lines are always problematic :)
I certainly hope I will feel like painting more in July. And TL sale you say? Hmmmm :D

ural jones
07-01-2015, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the ideas Jay, but though it is never too late, I decided to reduce art supplies. If I haven't got the right stuff, oh well.
My grand daughter is going to Fullerton Art College in LA. in a few weeks. I thought perhaps she would avail herself of my stuff.
Alas, todays students are DIGITAL! Now isn't that a crying shame. Therefore, I am going to just use up what I have and grump and mumble about it....:(
Ah ha, the ole Jolly Roger trick eh? I buy that one!

07-01-2015, 10:32 AM
Nick, not a free shipping one. Sorry. You can see the dyer in that old email I put in talk about the sale and the date.

Come paint with us! We need people.

You too Ural. Don't go away. We need you!

Won't discuss digital. Just won't!!!

07-01-2015, 12:45 PM
"the dryer"? LOL what does that mean? An ad? :)

Pity that I don't NEED any more TLs... :angel:

07-01-2015, 02:50 PM
Flyer. Sorry. I'm terrible at proofreading. I had put the email about the sale over in Talk sometime ago. Probably best if I send you a pm about this. They will close this spotlight

07-01-2015, 03:42 PM
LOL, Jay, sometimes I recognize a typo, but not this time :)