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DAK723
05-31-2017, 10:44 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…Deciduous Trees!

Anyone who wants to paint landscapes is eventually going to have to paint trees! They are all around us – and whether or not a tree or trees is a main subject in your painting - they are often going to be in the painting somewhere, whether in the distance, mid-ground or foreground! Generally speaking, trees come in two categories – trees with broad leaves that usually turn color in the fall and then drop off (deciduous trees) and trees with pine needles that stay green year around (coniferous trees). Checking these definitions on my computer, I am told that they are not 100% accurate, but for artistic purposes, they are good enough! So this month, let’s put the Spotlight on Deciduous Trees!

As with most subjects in our paintings, trees are usually painted considerably simplified. Here are some of the things that I would suggest when painting trees:

Start with the silhouette of the tree (or multiple trees) and see if you can capture the essence of the silhouette shape. Is it square, round, tall and narrow, short and squat, triangular, irregular?

If there are large foliage shapes within the main silhouette, try and define those shapes – simplifying where possible.

In most cases, you will have a range of shadow to light within the silhouette and those larger foliage shapes. The darkest shadows are normally within the deepest parts of the tree, so it is often a good idea to start with those darkest values to block in the tree silhouette. Then as the foliage comes closer to you and away from the tree’s center, more light hits those areas and they are painted with a lighter value. The outermost areas of foliage that are in the light, will then be the lightest value. Painting the foliage in that order will usually be easier as it creates the correct depth of the tree.

Distance will play a role in how much shadow to light variation there is. Distant trees may be pure silhouettes of one value. As the trees get closer, more value variation will appear.

Decide on the importance of the trunk and branches. If the tree is very full of foliage, the branches may not be that important. On the other hand, on a tree with sparser foliage, the shape and movement of the branches may be the most important feature that captures the tree’s essence. On trees with sparser foliage, the “sky holes” will usually be more important (and larger) so pay attention to those “negative” shapes.

Observe the shapes of the trunk and main branches. Sometimes we don’t pay close attention and just paint them straight, but they usually aren’t!

Don’t worry about painting individual leaves. In many cases you may not need any, especially if the tree is in the mid ground or farther away. If you need a greater level of detail, a few small marks at the edges of the silhouette may give the impression that you have painted leaves all over!

Keep in mind that these are my suggestions and others may have more and/or better ones, too!

Let’s take a closer look at some of those suggestions:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-00-mowry-1.jpg

Above is a beautiful pastel painting by Elizabeth Mowry. In my opinion, the silhouette of the main tree is the strongest element as all the interior detail is subdued in comparison. The foliage is depicted by shapes that I like to call “clumps of leaves”. These clumps are painted in a lighter value against the darker colors that depict the deeper foliage and branches. A few lighter values and some areas of slightly more yellow-green color suggest a bit more detail and the leaves that are in sunlight. We can see a few individual strokes and marks of pastel that suggest individual leaves, many of them at the edges of the silhouette, and a few within the larger shape. The trees in the row behind the main tree seem to be simplified even more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-mowry-solo_and_symphony.JPG

Here is another painting by Mowry. In this case, even though there are multiple trees, they are connected into one silhouette shape. To help differentiate the trees, the one tree in the middle is a different color. Using a different color (often only slightly different) is one way to suggest individual trees within a group. Again, notice the clumps of lighter foliage against the darker color of the deeper leaves. These trees have fuller foliage and the sky holes are smaller and less important than the first example.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-lf5kiu91ujan.jpg

Next is a painting by Bob Rohm. The essence of these trees seems to be their thick, heavy trunks and branches! My guess (or the way I would have done it) is that Rohm painted the thick trunks and branches first. Then clumps of foliage would be added so that they begin covering some of the branches and trunks. Darker foliage shapes first, then those lighter shapes that define the foliage in sunlight. Those clump shapes vary in size and shape – and have some nice subtle variation of color, too. All those variations in size and color will create interest and might make it seem more detailed, when it really isn’t!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-elizabeth_mowry1.jpg

One more painting by Elizabeth Mowry. Here we have trees that are more in the distance. The main tree is mostly silhouette, but has some clump shapes of lighter value indicating those areas in the sun. The trees or shrubs on the left are very simplified as they are of lesser importance. As is usually the case, the degree of importance of the subjects within your painting will also influence how much detail is depicted.

[Please note that the paintings by Elizabeth Mowry and Bob Rohm are under copyright and are being used for educational purposes only.]

Sky Holes

A word about sky holes. Personally, I hate painting sky holes, so I almost always paint the sky or whatever is in the background before I paint the tree. Of course, since the tree is never painted perfectly on the first try, some sky holes are usually still necessary to be put in after the tree is done or nearly done. Other painters like painting the main silhouette of the tree first, and then add sky holes to refine the tree shape. Most books you read will mention that sky holes are slightly darker than the adjacent sky. I would say this is normally true for smaller sky holes. Smaller sky holes are often darker because they are not “pure” holes – they have tiny branches and small leaves within that aren’t visible from a distance. They may also be slightly darker since the light waves can’t get through as efficiently because of their size. But for larger sky holes, I wouldn’t worry about making them darker and I would try to match the adjacent sky color as best as possible.

The challenge of Green

While there are some deciduous trees that aren't green, the vast majority of them are. In the Spring, they often start out with a more yellow-green color, but soon turn into their usual middle-of-the-road green color that they keep through the summer. In the fall, of course, many become wonderfully colorful, but since we always have an annual Spotlight celebrating fall color, most of my references this month have green trees (I do have one fall reference).

In our previous Spotlight on “Green,” I wrote about the challenge of green. You will see in many books, videos and online tutorials, that artists are often paying special attention to paintings that have a lot of green foliage. They advise putting a lot of non-green colors into green objects! Here is what I had to say about that!

For most of my artistic life, I never considered green to be any more of a challenge than any other color. Then, when I got on the internet, suddenly I began to hear many comments about how artists disliked green or tried hard to avoid green. Frankly, I like green as much as any other color – so I don’t really understand that outlook. Perhaps living in an area that has long, snowy winters, I have a very strong affection for green since it means winter is over and spring is here! Nothing is lovelier to me than “spring” green!

One thing that makes painting greens difficult is that the green pigments that are used to make our pastels and tubes of paint are not usually the color of the greens of nature. Many green pigments are cooler blue-greens, while most of the greens of nature are warmer yellow-greens (at least where I live - although it is always easy to forget that things can be quite different in different parts of the world). Plus, there are not that many green pigments. This, of course, is more of a problem with painters using paint from tubes, but some brands of pastels are somewhat limited in their selection of greens. Luckily for pastel artists, many brands do have larger selections – and they create pastels that are mixtures of green and yellow pigments in an effort to create pastels that fill in the warmer yellow-green section of the color wheel.

Some greens – especially the greens of springtime, or in sunshine – can be very intense. But more often, greens are somewhat more subdued than we think (at least more subdued than I think). There is often a lot more orange and brown within the greens of grasses and trees than we may notice. Tree trunks, branches, twigs, dead leaves or pine needles, grass that is “burned” by the summer sun, the earth under the grass all add some color that influences the greens!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-00-oranges.jpg

One common method of adding those hints of red, orange and brown is by doing an underpainting using any of those warm colors. It’s not just a strategy – those warmer colors are in – or under – those greens! You don’t need to do an underpainting, of course, you can add and mix colors at any time in the painting process!

Here are some links that may be helpful:

https://www.lanaballot.com/my-tree-demo-from-last-class/

http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/2015/02/paint-along-mondaytrees-and-wildflowers.html

http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/2013/10/painting-trees-this-weekjoin-us.html

And a demo by Paula Ford, one of the best painters of trees that I know, and a former guide here in the pastel forum:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=630093

OK, time for the references:


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-ref-1.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-ref-2.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-ref-3.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-ref-4.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2017/82335-ref-5.jpg

(All photos by me)

As always, please feel free to modify the references! And enjoy!

Don

Still-trying
06-01-2017, 07:01 AM
Trees! I can't wait!!! Thank you.

I love the Mowry paintings and that Paula Ford demo is fabulous.

Thanks for lovely references.

Divasin
06-01-2017, 08:29 AM
Like a delicious box of chocolates I can hardly wait to dip into this subject!

P.S. Here's a nice video posted on Youtube by Marla Baggetta "Afternoon Delights" an artist not afraid of green!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkuXiZh8-V4&t=1s

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jun-2017/1500147-Marla_Afternoon_Delights.jpg



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Still-trying
06-01-2017, 10:55 AM
Thanks Leslie. Looks good!

nachele
06-01-2017, 03:47 PM
Wow cool spotlight! I'm at home so I'm starting now, but it's my first landscape, I'm a bit intimidated, I'll try and see what comes out of it! The references are very nice, still don't know which one to choose :D

I'll keep you updated with my WIPs :)

nachele
06-01-2017, 06:39 PM
Ok I went for the first reference, here's my WIP for tonight. Going on in the weekend. Trees are soooo difficult!! I am really having a hard time on this!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jun-2017/2007653-IMG_3425.JPG

Bye,

Nat

Edit:sorry the image came up rotated, I uploaded from my phone ad was autoresized, don't know why

Still-trying
06-01-2017, 06:57 PM
Ciao Nachele, you have some good things going on in this painting and your first landscape yet! Nice job. I particularly love the way you did the tree on the right.

Jay

Shallbe
06-01-2017, 07:09 PM
Yay, trees! It's not leaves, but it's close enough! And joy of joys, it's summer, so I'll be able to participate.

Leslie, that video was fascinating... There were so many other colors she used besides green, and she began in a way that was completely new to me. I loved the underpainting so much that I almost didn't want her to complete the painting!

Nat, I think your underpainting has fabulous potential. What was hard about it?

shallbe

DAK723
06-01-2017, 09:47 PM
Nat, Here's your painting rotated. For a first landscape, you are doing great!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jun-2017/82335-spot-IMG_3425.JPG

Don

DAK723
06-01-2017, 09:51 PM
Leslie, Nice video that you linked to! A good demo on painting trees first and then adding sky (and ground) holes! Don't know how anyone can paint that small either! I sure can't!

Don

nachele
06-02-2017, 05:42 PM
Leslie, thanks, the video from Marla Baggetta is amazing, I love the Away she applies the pastels and the colors she chooses!

Don, thanks for rotating the pic! And for the encouragement, I thought landscape were easier than portaits but I was wrong...

Shallbe, thanks for your appreciation, I found very hard to choose the colors, and to apply them. I am news to pastels and I don't have much confidence with them, for the leaves I fondo hard to understand how to use the pastel on the paper, many times I couldn't achieve the effect I had in my mind and Washington wondering, shall I be gentle here or apply more pressure, or shall I do a continuative movement with mi hand, or little strokes or dots, shall I blend somehow or not... this in the small color variation in the foliage was very hard! I made some progress today, hope tomorrow to post a finished version!

Jay, thanks for your kind encouragement, everyone here is motivating me a lot, thanks sooo much, such a nice community I found... :)

DAK723
06-02-2017, 09:24 PM
I found very hard to choose the colors, and to apply them. I am news to pastels and I don't have much confidence with them, for the leaves I fondo hard to understand how to use the pastel on the paper, many times I couldn't achieve the effect I had in my mind and Washington wondering, shall I be gentle here or apply more pressure, or shall I do a continuative movement with mi hand, or little strokes or dots, shall I blend somehow or not...
These are the types of questions and decisions that every artist faces and can often take many paintings to discover the answers (some of us - like me - are still looking for many of those answers...:eek:). So don't worry if it takes time to learn how to do landscapes. While every type of painting - landscape, portraits, figures, still life, etc. - has similarities in technique, there are differences, too! The fact that you are already doing so well on your first landscape is very impressive.

Don

robertsloan2
06-02-2017, 10:22 PM
Wonderful topic! Close to my heart and something I struggle with - still have problems with sky holes, don't like putting them in, don't always remember to, sometimes don't like how they come out. Great lesson in them and in using greens. Other colors worked into them do make them sparkle.

Violet and orange particularly do well accenting green. Deep dark violets make better deep darks than black with it and even very bright oranges work out well overlaid. Though earthy oranges are very true to the dried-bits colors at least around here.

Nat, great start on your painting. I love the rich colors and the way you've got the forms blocked in. looking forward to seeing more!

nachele
06-05-2017, 04:05 AM
Good morning everyone!
I've been doing some progress this weekend...hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow.
Any suggestions to improve it while I'm still working on it? I feel linke it's very flat, without much sense of depth and perspective... something I definitely have to work on!

Thanks :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2017/2007653-rsz_21rsz_pastel-landscape.jpg

Still-trying
06-05-2017, 12:20 PM
Nat, I doesn't look flat to me! The tree stands out against the sky. The tree has depth. I think it's lovely. Brava!

Jay

Still-trying
06-05-2017, 12:22 PM
This is Uart 400 9 x 12 with Nupastels. Admittedly a bit hurried but I really wanted to participate! C and C most welcome.

water girl
06-05-2017, 02:52 PM
Nat, there is a nice feeling of movement in your update.
Jay, there is a delicate, lightness to your hurried piece. How do you like the Uart 400? I just ordered some.

Still-trying
06-05-2017, 03:00 PM
Thank you Karen. Uart behaved for me today since I used Nupastel. Sometimes I struggle a bit. (But then I usually struggle. 🤡). Bottom line...I would order more of it. Recently I started a painting with softer pastels and was drowning in dust. (I paint flat.). But, in the end, all was well. Sorta ..😲

I just reread this and there was a string of numbers I did not type!

DAK723
06-05-2017, 10:10 PM
Nat, This is very lovely! You did a super job on the trees! The only thing I would do to address the depth issue would be to remove the lowest larger cloud on the right side. Aside from that cloud, your clouds are less white as they go towards the horizon making them seem farther away That close to the horizon, the cloud would probably blend in with the sky color and be much smaller, so I think it can go away! Just one small critique on an otherwise very nice painting! Well done!

DAK723
06-05-2017, 10:11 PM
Jay, Very nice painting, as well! I especially like your trunks and branches! Nicely done!

Don

nachele
06-06-2017, 06:47 AM
Thanks Karen, Jay and Don for your appreciation, it makes me very happy that you like it!

Aside from that cloud, your clouds are less white as they go towards the horizon making them seem farther away That close to the horizon, the cloud would probably blend in with the sky color and be much smaller, so I think it can go away!

Don, now that you pointed it out I totally see it! I'll let it go out of the painting when I rework it, hopefully tonight. This pastel thing is getting addictive!

Still-trying
06-06-2017, 09:17 AM
Thanks Don. I was fascinated by the blue purple look of the trunks in your reference. (My husband is not a fan of green so I find sneaky ways to get around having a green painting. )

Nat, welcome to the addiction of pastels. What brand of pastels are you finding in Italy?

nachele
06-06-2017, 11:51 AM
Jay, I also loved the purple in the trunks, I tried to reproduce that too!

I am not very informed on pastels available in Italy, I bought my first pastels, a 12 sticks sets of "Conté a Paris", a few years ago at the supermarket, but tried only a few times then abandoned after a few trials not so successful, till a couple of months ago when I decided to give painting a second chance, after starting drawing, and finding this forum :) Conté is a very popular brand here in Italy for art supplies, together with Stabilo (Carbothello producer).
Then I got a Mungyo 24 sticks, the cheapest and oldest possible, and a 12 royal and langnickel sticks, that were into a mixed media box set that my family gave me for my birthday last month :D

Now I bought from an artist here on WetCanvas a 2nd hand set of 90 half Rembrandt! Love at first sight, starting from the packaging :)

But I know there is an italian brand that produces art media, and pastels, called Maineri, though it has a limited assortment, they have more assortment for watercolors, ever heard of it? I have their oil pastels in my "art drawer", I should give them a second chance someday, the first was a total disaster...

Still-trying
06-06-2017, 03:19 PM
I'm not familiar with colors in Conté in soft pastel. I do like their pastel pencils. From my experience the materials made in France seem good.

I do like Rembrandt very much.
I have not heard of Maineri. If they sell soft pastels, why not write and ask for a sample? I'm told that the large art supply companies here will send samples...not sure about to Italy though.
Oil pastels....for me....I did badly.

nachele
06-06-2017, 05:17 PM
Jay, it's a good idea to ask for samples, I'll try and see what I can get from them. Indeed I think French material is good, everything a bit "artsy" in Italy is usually French :) The price shall be not that bad also for French products here.

Ok so here it is, finished, well not a masterpiece for sure but I'm proud I completed my first pastel landscape ever!
It was fun and challenging to join this spotlight and I learnt a lot from this piece!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jun-2017/2007653-IMG_3447.JPG

Edit: ouch rotated again, it must be some mobile issue! :(

DAK723
06-06-2017, 07:25 PM
Nat, This is so well done! And for a first landscape...super!!

Don

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jun-2017/82335-natfin-IMG_3447.JPG

Still-trying
06-07-2017, 11:08 AM
:clap: NICE WORK, Nat. The trees look great. I love you sky and your sky color. What a good job you did. :clap: :clap:

ncgirl
06-08-2017, 09:27 PM
Well. First, let me say how I've enjoyed looking at all the wonderful paintings of trees this month! Excellent work everyone!

Here is my sad little contribution. I think the seagull is the only part that looks OK. I am so weak on landscapes - the rocks don't look rocky, the water isn't very blue, and the trees looked like aquarium plants! 😃 Any suggestions are welcome! Still, it was nice to be painting again! :wave:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jun-2017/199153-PSX_20170608_211819.jpg

nachele
06-09-2017, 05:59 AM
Thanks everyone for the nice words on my first landscape :D I am soooo happy, can't wait to paint again :D

Sandra, you made me laugh at trees looking like aquarium plants, but this is not at all true! The seagull indeed is awesome. I am a very newbie so I don't have many suggestion, maybe I'll add more pastel layers, but that's just cause this is what I do when I don't get the results I want :D I used many layers in mine to get the darks and the lights that I wanted!

Divasin
06-09-2017, 10:58 AM
Don has really inspired us this month, a topic I'm sure we can revisit often.

Robert nice to see you here, your comments are always thoughtful:thumbsup:

Nat, we all understand your struggle and you're doing really well, keep at it.:wave:

Jay, you've hit the nail on the head with this one:smug:. I love the elusive of the tree shapes and lost and found edges!

Sandra, you are way too hard on yourself:cool:, there is much to like here, pretty sky and water, airy trees...perhaps the trunks could be more carefully observed.

Finally, my contribution. I chose one of Don's pics that had very airy trees and found capturing that quite a struggle...sky holes in...sky holes out:envy:
You'll find the bottom half of my photo is darker than the original but if I lighten it the sky becomes washed out...tricky business taking photos of pastels???

Rembrandts, Senneliers, Richesons on 1000 grit sandpaper.
C&Cs welcome.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jun-2017/1500147-June_Challenge_2017.jpg



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nachele
06-09-2017, 11:53 AM
Leslie sooooo beautiful!!! I love so much your soft style! The red earth tones are wonderful! I love how you can manage colors and values in such a soft and simplified way, yet so realistic.

May I ask you one OT that might have been explained many times, but cannot really find an answer from a quick search.
You always mention sandpaper, I saw there are many brands also in Italy available, but omg so expensive for a newbie! Is "regular sandpaper" (meaning the one my dad has in his garage lol) so different from the "pastel sandpaper"? I see you indicate a number that I understand to be the grit, is it somehow corresponding to the grit of regular sandpaper? Do you think I can try with regular sandpaper in a very very fine grit or am I just going to waste my pastels?

I am using this paper at the moment for my pastel paintings: https://www.strathmoreartist.com/draw-sketch/id-400-series-toned-sketch.html

Still-trying
06-09-2017, 02:41 PM
Sandra, you're right! That is a great seagull!!! The rest of the painting has good bones and perhaps needs more pastel? I can see this on its way to good things!!!

Leslie, thank you. I really like your piece. Maybe YOU know you struggled but the results look great! I love how you did the brush. I have my eye on that reference too because it is so airy. Seems to my like you handled the sky holes beautifully. How big is it? So very fine grit? 1000?

Shallbe
06-09-2017, 08:34 PM
Hello, everyone:

Fortunately a project I was working on dovetails with this month's Spotlight. I had to really work to get the sky right...If you happened to notice my recent post about Pan Pastels, you'll have a bit of a clue...it kept wanting to be dark, grey and stormy! but finally it wasn't too bad.

My daddy wanted a painting of Indian Blankets, aka Gallardias, so this was my attempt. In the background you can see at least one deciduous tree; the Mesquite tree on the right. I also had to fight to get that one right, but it wasn't the pastels fault...I just still have a lot to learn!

9X12
Arches with Gesso
Pan Pastels

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jun-2017/1988178-IMG_20170609_190246185.jpg

DAK723
06-09-2017, 09:59 PM
Sandra, Nice to see you again! You have some nice things happening in your painting! Trees look good, water, too - and that seagull is fantastic! I have put seagulls in a few paintings and it always takes me about 3 attempts to get one right! Sometimes I find that I need to reinforce the colors of pastel - almost like needing to put on a second coat at the end - to get strong color.

Leslie, Very nice! Those trees are definitely more about the trunks and branches than the foliage and you've captured that very well! As always, your paintings has a nice sense of unity and a nice variety of edges!

Don

DAK723
06-09-2017, 10:03 PM
May I ask you one OT that might have been explained many times, but cannot really find an answer from a quick search.
You always mention sandpaper, I saw there are many brands also in Italy available, but omg so expensive for a newbie! Is "regular sandpaper" (meaning the one my dad has in his garage lol) so different from the "pastel sandpaper"? I see you indicate a number that I understand to be the grit, is it somehow corresponding to the grit of regular sandpaper? Do you think I can try with regular sandpaper in a very very fine grit or am I just going to waste my pastels?

Using regular hardware store sandpaper is definitely a good way to practice and see how pastel type sanded papers work. They are essentially the same and the grit numbers are the same. You do need to use a soft touch on sandpaper or it will eat your pastels. But, since the art variety is quite expensive, it is a good idea to use the hardware store sandpaper to see what it is like.

I wouldn't use it for any real paintings as it is unlikely that hardware store sandpaper will hold up over time. I'm sure it is made much more cheaply in terms of how the "grit" is attached and the overall quality of the paper.

Don

DAK723
06-09-2017, 10:05 PM
Shallbe, Very nice painting! The tree on the right is especially nice as the branches give it real "personality."

Don

sjb
06-09-2017, 11:48 PM
Here I am, participating again. I really wish I prioritized pastels more, because I do enjoy them so much. I really appreciate these monthly challenges piquing my interest.
I did this very quickly. Sennelier pastels, with a gouache underpainting.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jun-2017/94247-IMG_0459.jpg
I'm happy about the profiles of the trees and the interplay of leaves and sky.

Thanks for looking,
Simon

Divasin
06-10-2017, 08:42 AM
Shallbe love the transitions from deep rich earth to soft sky blues!

Simon, hello and I like your unity of colour and variety of forms...nice!

Nat, I agree with Don regular fine grit sandpaper should only be relied on for practice as it has not been tested for longevity.

I like to use it as it is similar to more expensive sanded papers.
Because it is cheap it gives me the freedom to experiment freely, take lots of abuse and is waterproof.
Remember the quality of sandpapers vary widely. I've posted a pic of the one I use which I know is reliable.
Further discussion here (outlining opposing views):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1418609

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jun-2017/1500147-3M.jpg


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Divasin
06-10-2017, 08:58 AM
Here's a repost of my tree study as the first was so poorly photographed:cool:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jun-2017/1500147-June_Challenge_2017a.jpg
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DAK723
06-10-2017, 08:59 AM
Simon, Thanks for joining us! This is a very lovely painting! The trees are beautifully done! Very natural looking, with the shadow and light shapes very well portrayed! Also a nice sense of light throughout!

Don

Divasin
06-10-2017, 09:03 AM
OOPS duplicate message!

nachele
06-12-2017, 09:48 AM
Shallbe, love the earth in the foreground and the contrast with the red flowers!

Simon, really like your painting, soft yet highly contrasted look! the trees are so 3-dimensional, I also love their shape!

Don and Leslie, thanks a lot for the suggestions, I'll be looking for an 1000 hardware sanded paper and once I practiced I'll try some artist grade paper. Meanwhile I also have a kind of liquid chalk that I'd like to try as a primer on watercolor paper or the gray paper I'm using, to see if I can get more tooth. I read here that many people use something similar to get some tooth. Experimenting :D :D :D

Divasin
06-12-2017, 11:21 AM
" I'll be looking for an 1000 hardware sanded paper and once I practiced I'll try some artist grade paper.[/quote]

After mentioning this discussion to my husband he thought I should make it clear the 3M 1000 grit is "automotive" sandpaper not quite the same as hardware sandpaper!

nachele
06-14-2017, 03:35 AM
" I'll be looking for an 1000 hardware sanded paper and once I practiced I'll try some artist grade paper.

After mentioning this discussion to my husband he thought I should make it clear the 3M 1000 grit is "automotive" sandpaper not quite the same as hardware sandpaper![/QUOTE]

Leslie, thanks for the clarification, yes I think I understood which type it is, I even found out that we have different names in italian for the two types of paper to distinguish them! :eek:
Where I live, automotive is the core business and quite a religion, so I believe I will be able to find something in the biggest hardware store for a reasonable price. Otherwise, I live next to the Ferrari factory, I could steal some paper there, they should have some fine quality, don't they? :D :D :D

artelahe
06-26-2017, 10:59 AM
Here are a few paintings of deciduous trees I've done in the last 2 months. C&C welcome. I'm just starting up again with painting after a break of a couple of decades. All 3 are done on UART 600 (I find i prefer 400 or 500 grit). In order: Preserve Me2; Harbor light (the pink one) has an alcohol under painting; and Backyard.

Aly

artelahe
06-26-2017, 11:14 AM
This is Uart 400 9 x 12 with Nupastels. Admittedly a bit hurried but I really wanted to participate! C and C most welcome.

Jay, I love this painting, especially your use of oranges an purples, so rich. The towering airiness gives it a regal perspective (see what I did there??).

I struggle with airy, so it's something I truly appreciate when I see it done well by others. It's something I aspire to that my fingers won't allow yet.

I love working with UART over most other surfaces to date. The dust is much easier to control with the nupastel. I'm painting vertically with a hand made shiny tinfoil trough and it's still dust central when I use my soft sennelier and terry ludwigs. I keep promising myself to make my own neutral stick, so I'm saving up all the dropped and brushed off (:angel: gasp, yes, I make errors!) dust.

Aly

artelahe
06-26-2017, 11:17 AM
Here I am, participating again. I really wish I prioritized pastels more, because I do enjoy them so much. I really appreciate these monthly challenges piquing my interest.
I did this very quickly. Sennelier pastels, with a gouache underpainting.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jun-2017/94247-IMG_0459.jpg
I'm happy about the profiles of the trees and the interplay of leaves and sky.

Thanks for looking,
Simon

Simon, I love the overall cool light in this painting. Yes, I know you have yellow gray greens in there but it still feels cool to me.

Aly

Divasin
06-26-2017, 11:32 AM
Aly, love the freshness of all the trees!
The moody shadows of the last is my favourite!

artelahe
06-26-2017, 12:35 PM
Aly, love the freshness of all the trees!
The moody shadows of the last is my favourite!

Thank you, Leslie. I am so thankful I found this thread. It made it less stressful to ease into the forum this way. Some of the work I've seen while poking around is so very good, I was hesitant to post.

Aly

Still-trying
06-26-2017, 02:18 PM
So far behind! Nice painting everyone. Shalbe, Simon. And artelahe I love the loose loose painting, especially number three

I haven't tried hardware store sandpaper! Maybe I'm missing out!!!

Still-trying
06-26-2017, 02:23 PM
Thanks Aly. That painting was achieved by "hurry" as in hurry to get a painting done! But thank you. I'm trying to get back to another. Promising myself. But enjoying seeing the work here.

I can't seem to control the sticks if I paint upright. So I manage...on a slant or laying down. Just a walk to the trash can once in a while to tap off the dust. We do what works, right?

DAK723
06-26-2017, 05:45 PM
Aly, Thanks for joining us! very nice paintings! I especially like the trees in the first one! The Spotlight is a good place to start here in the pastel forum, but definitely feel free to jump in on our regular soft pastel studio and gallery! People are nice and friendly here in pastels!

Don

artelahe
06-26-2017, 06:37 PM
Aly, Thanks for joining us! very nice paintings! I especially like the trees in the first one! The Spotlight is a good place to start here in the pastel forum, but definitely feel free to jump in on our regular soft pastel studio and gallery! People are nice and friendly here in pastels!

Don

Thank you for the kind welcome, Don. I have girded my pastel loins and posted a different sort of painting in the Gallery for C&C. Let's see what happens.

sjb
06-26-2017, 10:17 PM
Aly, I think your works are spectacular. There is an impressionist energy to them that I would die for. I wanted to say which one I thought was the best, but I just can't. The contrast of the foreground light with the "tunnel-like" shadow as the path disappears in the third one is amazing.

I'm going to study these.

Simon

artelahe
06-26-2017, 10:58 PM
Aly, I think your works are spectacular. There is an impressionist energy to them that I would die for. I wanted to say which one I thought was the best, but I just can't. The contrast of the foreground light with the "tunnel-like" shadow as the path disappears in the third one is amazing.

I'm going to study these.

Simon

Simon, What a nice thing to say! I'm still grinning actually. Thank you.

Divasin
06-27-2017, 11:20 AM
"Decide on the importance of the trunk and branches. If the tree is very full of foliage, the branches may not be that important. On the other hand, on a tree with sparser foliage, the shape and movement of the branches may be the most important feature that captures the tree’s essence. On trees with sparser foliage, the “sky holes” will usually be more important (and larger) so pay attention to those “negative” shapes."

I've been taking Don's comments to heart this month and can squeak in with 2 last offerings.
In the first I was interested in how the light filtered through the trees and affected the leaf shapes.
The second is a study of my old birch tree.
C&Cs welcome!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2017/1500147-Summer_Trees_Leslie_Snider.jpg



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2017/1500147-Birch-resize.jpg



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artelahe
06-27-2017, 11:28 AM
I've been taking Don's comments to heart this month and can squeak in with 2 last offerings.
In the first I was interested in how the light filtered through the trees and affected the leaf shapes.
The second is a study of my old birch tree.
C&Cs welcome!



Leslie, I definitely appreciate how you've created the distant and mid distant light filtering in Summer Trees (top). It's soft and fluttery and light (no pun intended there, honestly). In your Birch painting I enjoy the light on the trunks drawing me upward and the soft suggestion of the leaves on up high. Both are relaxing to watch paintings.

DAK723
06-27-2017, 07:12 PM
Leslie, These are lovely! The light filtering through the trees in the first creates a lovely interplay between the negative and positive spaces! You've repeated that theme with the light colored flowers and the darker leaves in the lower half! The second is a very nice interplay of hard and soft edges! And as always, your paintings have such a sense of unity and harmony!

Don

Still-trying
06-28-2017, 07:58 AM
Leslie, your first painting is my view of my back yard! Oak trees with laurel shrubs underneath..you captured it beautifully! What a lovely painting.

But I like the birch tree very much.

I have a video by Handel. I enjoy watching him give character to the bark of a tree.

Divasin
06-28-2017, 08:08 AM
Aly and Jay thanks for your comments....I have one of Handell's books... he does AMAZINGLY dramatic trees.

Don, I came across one of my first pastel challenges (2014) and boy oh boy has this forum really helped in my progress!:lol:

Canada's 150th anniversary this July 1 ...hope you'll all celebrate with me:wave:

Cheers Leslie

Still-trying
06-28-2017, 01:47 PM
Happy anniversary Leslie and Canada. Isn't it nice to be friends?? Have a great weekend.

DAK723
06-28-2017, 04:11 PM
Canada's 150th anniversary this July 1 ...hope you'll all celebrate with me:wave:

Cheers Leslie

Hmmm, I wonder what a Spotlight on Canada might be like....:angel::angel:

Don

Divasin
06-30-2017, 08:52 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2017/1500147-Image6.jpg

Don the possibilities are endless!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2017/1500147-Beaver_01.jpg Cheers Leslie!
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