View Full Version : The Spotlight - August 2017 - Summer Vacation

07-31-2017, 10:34 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…Summer Vacation!

Ah, summer! Many folks are on vacation - or wish they were! A time to relax and take it easy!

So that is what we will be doing this month - going on summer vacation!

I will be posting a few references from some of my summer vacations taken over the years. If you have been following the Spotlight for a few years, you may recognize some of the locations! All my vacations for many years were spent in the Adirondack Mountains here in New York State, USA! It's been a few years since I was up there, but hopefully I have enough photos to last for a few more Spotlights!

Please feel free to use your own references from your favorite summer vacations!

Here are mine:


A view across Blue Mountain Lake w/ Blue Mountain in the background

Boats on Indian Lake

A Loon w/ Baby

And one non-vacation pic - a sunset on Lake Ontario from this year

And, as mentioned, please feel free to use your own references!

As always, feel free to crop and modify the references as you see fit!

I'm sitting back in my easy chair with a nice cool lemonade! :cool:

Enjoy your Summer Vacations!


08-01-2017, 11:21 AM
Nice variety of ideas Don...I shall peruse them with my favourite tipple, a glass of wine!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Aug-2017/1500147-drink_02.jpgSaveSaveSave

08-03-2017, 05:04 AM
Have a great vacation Don. You know that last reference is calling to me... enjoy your free time.

08-03-2017, 02:27 PM
The muted colors in Boats on Indian Lake calls to me...not sure I can resist...

08-09-2017, 07:48 AM
Where is everyone?
Lying in hammocks under a shady tree?:cool:

I'm with Jay...can't resist a sunset!
You'll notice a few changes from the photo, the most obvious is a wider band of red (as it looked pinched in my original attempt).
Comments and suggestions welcome!
My usual mix of various brands of pastel on 1000 grit sandpaper.


08-09-2017, 08:23 AM
Leslie, Very lovely! You've really captured the colors and the mood of this sunset! And I like the way you added those touches of red into the waves as well!


08-09-2017, 12:12 PM
There is a 1000 grit sanded paper? where, who? where?

Leslie, I like (make that love) almost absolutely everything about this: the clear light behind the clouds, the water with the lapping waves catching the lights and color from the sky, the trees (omg, the trees!) and your lovely sunset. I am pulled right into the painting.

The only area I might have wanted done differently is the angle of your horizon to bring it horizontal. Does that make sense?

08-09-2017, 01:01 PM
Thanks Aly and Don,
Well spotted on the horizon line...as my camera was hand held it was probably tilted and I can easily re-adjust the photo!

Here's a link to my suggestions on using sandpaper - with a photo near the bottom of the page.

Cheers Leslie

water girl
08-09-2017, 11:04 PM
I could sit on the embankment and wait for the Green Flash if it were the Pacific Ocean. I wonder if you can see the Green Flash on Lake Ontario. Leselie, I love the rippling of the water. Well done!

08-12-2017, 09:23 AM
Leslie, that is so well done. I just love the color of everything that isn't sunset. So beautiful. Of course the sunset part is beautiful too but I think that other color is more difficult. Well done.

A friend of mine has been in hospital and rehab so my pastel time is limited. I'll try to find a little time.

08-22-2017, 10:05 PM
Hello everyone!
I'm new to this forum as well as to pastel painting :) I really enjoy and learn much from the Spotlights! Thank you Don for your work!
I have just finished little painting which corresponds to the topic of this month spotlight. I'm not totally happy with it but still decided to share. comments are very welcome!


08-23-2017, 08:23 AM
Alice, nice to see your work!
Let us know what materials you're using e.g. pastel brand and don't be afraid to comment...we're a friendly bunch!

08-23-2017, 08:28 AM
Alice, Thanks for joining us on vacation! Very nice painting! I especially like the nice color and value gradation of your sky and water as they lighten towards the horizon! It creates a nice sense of depth!


water girl
08-23-2017, 10:20 PM
Welcome, Alice. Glad you could join us. Don puts a lot of time and thought into this Spotlight, and we all appreciate it. Your painting is very timely.

08-24-2017, 03:26 PM
Thank you for greetings, Leslie, Don and Karen!
Leslie, I'm using mostly Rembrandt pastels. do not have many of other brands yet :)
and I like your sunset over lake very much! color scheme is beautiful!

p.s. I beg your pardon in advance for my possible mistakes, because English is not my first language :)

08-24-2017, 03:31 PM
here is one more attempt on summer vacation :)
paper - Canson Touch, pastels Rembrandt and couple Mount Vision.
c & c always welcome! I want to grow and improve :)


08-25-2017, 11:26 AM
Alice, you have a lovely light touch with the pastels so I think it's the right medium for you.
Perhaps more experience drawing would help you with the design elements.
Drawing every day (even something quick) is a great way to improve.....works for me:smug:

water girl
08-25-2017, 01:25 PM
As Leslie says, it's all a bit of practice. You have a wonderful touch with the pastels. Don't hurry the process. Enjoy the experience. We're very happy that you have joined us.

08-26-2017, 08:59 AM
Alice, Another nice summer painting! Everything about this painting tells me that you are on the right path. Everything is shape oriented - the hillside on the left, the houses, the mountains on the right, the boats. You are keeping those shapes simple and distinct without getting bogged down with details. That, in my opinion, is the key to painting!


08-26-2017, 12:33 PM
Thanks guys for encouragement!
I keep on trying and enjoying the process! pastels are addictive :)