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View Full Version : Water's Path - Willochra Creek


Susan Borgas
05-16-2007, 03:39 AM
Work is 47.5cm high x 68cm wide.
Burgundy Art Spectrum Colourfix

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek.jpg

Working on a large oil painting I found that I am having withdrawals from my pastels so while I wait for paint to set some more I thought I would start and post a WIP of a pastel here in the forum.

I started this one by finding my lightest lights (as I usually do with pastels) and my darkest darks. The darks I normally don’t find all of them at this point of my work but found after working with my latest oil painting, which I used the grisaille method, I am much more aware of the tones. I recommend a grisaille to anyone that has trouble identifying tones in their work.

The taller eucalyptus tree on the right wasn’t positioned very well as it was dead centre. I knew this before sketching onto the paper and moved the tree across on what is hopefully a much better position. It will also allow the eye to travel through to the background taking away the feeling of being trapped when viewing the painting.

Cheers for now! :wave:

Donna T
05-16-2007, 09:07 AM
Hi Susan, I'm so excited to see how you do trees because you are sooo good at them! When you are blocking in your darkest darks how do you choose the color? Do you decide if the dark will be warm or cool and then pick? How much does that burgandy color influence your choices or doesn't it matter that much because you plan on covering most of it? Sorry about all the questions, I will just be so happy to see how you do this.

Donna T

soap
05-16-2007, 09:21 AM
Oh - a Borgas in the making! Cannot wait to see it develop. Am a huge fan of your work....If only you would exhibit in the UK - I'd be there in a flash!

Don't let us wait too long for the next stage.....;)

Piper Ballou
05-16-2007, 10:15 AM
Susan, I love your WIP's, thanks for sharing.
piper

CindyW
05-16-2007, 12:02 PM
Susan, can't wait to see your creation!
As it stands right this second, it has magic already in its palette and objects.

Cindy

Paula Ford
05-16-2007, 12:57 PM
Oh boy...pulling up a chair :D

Paula

Kathryn Day
05-16-2007, 02:14 PM
Hi Susan, want to watch this one come alive. Thanks for taking the time to do a WIP.

Merethe T
05-16-2007, 04:16 PM
Yay, you're doing a pastel-WIP - count me in! I've missed your landscapes, I love them....look forward to watch this come to life.......popcorn, anyone....? ;)

Merethe

Netty
05-16-2007, 04:31 PM
Yes Yay!!! I too love your landscapes Susan, especially the gorgeous work you do in painting a gum tree.... Thanks so much for this WIP.

Annie:)

Winny Kerr
05-16-2007, 05:53 PM
Hi Susan,
This will be so much fun, do you have a reference photo we can see?
Winny

bchlvr
05-16-2007, 07:15 PM
Looking forward to it to see how a landscape develops.

prestonsega
05-16-2007, 07:47 PM
I've been wanting to see a WIP from you before,,,,,I'm watching!

Susan Borgas
05-16-2007, 08:57 PM
Thanks so much everybody, I hope this one lives up to what you are expecting. I will try to answer your questions as best as I can although how I approach my work doesn't always follow the rules of the purists. ;)

Hi Susan, I'm so excited to see how you do trees because you are sooo good at them! When you are blocking in your darkest darks how do you choose the color? Do you decide if the dark will be warm or cool and then pick? How much does that burgandy color influence your choices or doesn't it matter that much because you plan on covering most of it? Sorry about all the questions, I will just be so happy to see how you do this.

Donna T

Donna the darks I am using are a very dark Unison Blue #16 as well as Art Spectrum Flinders Blue Violet plus another purple that is slightly lighter. There is also a dark blue based Green in the canopy of the tree along with these other darks. To my eyes the blue violet and purple looks warm against the other blues and like how it 'vibrates' the colours when together. It is a warm sunny day so basically the 'shade/shadow' will be cooler. Some of the darks in the trunk of the tree are dark without the shadow falling across it so I guess in a way I am cheating by having warms and cools laid next to each other to describe this without getting fussy.

The paper will be covered although there will be specks of if left behind in the canopy of the trees as I am leaving the sky until last because there is just so much foliage it will be best done this way. The colour was chosen because it will be complimentary to the 'greens' throughout the work without being overpowering.

Oh - a Borgas in the making! Cannot wait to see it develop. Am a huge fan of your work....If only you would exhibit in the UK - I'd be there in a flash!

Don't let us wait too long for the next stage.....

:lol:... you pay for my fare and do all the arrangements and I would be over there in a flash. :lol:

Hi Susan,
This will be so much fun, do you have a reference photo we can see?
Winny

:D... I am such a mean horrible person I don't share my reference photos that I personally use with my own work. To try and make up for this lack of sharing on my part I started a blog called SnapShots (http://freesnapshots.blogspot.com/) and are free of copyright for the artist to use. ;) It comes with a story for each image... well for the most part anyway.

Hopefully there will be another update later today of this work. Catch you all then. :wave:

Susan Borgas
05-17-2007, 03:15 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek2.jpg

Believe it or not there is three hours done on this work today...... slow as I am it will hopefully mean less mistakes to be fixed.

Studying the shadowed side of the tree that has been worked on today I may darken it slightly by one or two value in some parts. The trunk is very light so will give the shadowed side some more thought without rushing into it.

For those that wonder if I am using white pastel, the answer is no. I do not use pure white in my work. I do love the Art Spectrum Australian Grey for my lightest lights on the tree trunks. I will also sneak a few other interesting colours in just to vary it and admit to trying out new colours to see if they work and if they do, they stay.

Sigh!!! I just dropped a heap of pastels that I have for back-up stock. Lets just say that dropping soft pastels from a hight of 30 cm (12"), I now have a lot more pieces than I originally had.....grrrrrr!

soap
05-17-2007, 03:42 AM
:lol:... you pay for my fare and do all the arrangements and I would be over there in a flash. :lol:


LOL....I better get some paintings sold myself to earn some money first!

Karen Margulis
05-17-2007, 08:09 AM
I am pulling up a chair too! Looking great so far and thank you for being so generous with your information. I love your snapshot blog too!

Karen

Donna T
05-17-2007, 09:45 AM
Thanks so much for explaining how you choose your shadow colors, Susan. Your blues and violets do vibrate next to each other! This is looking so good and I can't wait to see how you do the greens of the leaves. Sorry about your broken pastels. I usually break mine up into more manageable pieces but I still cringe every time I do it.

Donna T

sweetapplez
05-17-2007, 01:27 PM
This looks so interesting. I love your choice of paper colour. As I am landscape challenged I'll be keeping an eye on this.

Trish

bchlvr
05-18-2007, 03:22 PM
Really enjoying following your WIP...so much to learn from this. Thank you so much for sharing.

RooGal
05-18-2007, 08:40 PM
Susan, I have been a fan of yours for quite some time. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to see one of your works in progress. You mentioned that you are using the grisaille method for an oil painting. I have been interested in trying the grisaille, but I don't exactly understand how it works. It sounds like it may be what I need to understand tones (values?) better. If anyone reading this can direct me to how I can understand this method, it would truly be appreciated. I feel pastel challenged at times, especially since I tossed out two paintings I was working on yesterday. I will start again, I know I am only new to this.

At any rate, this piece is already looking beautiful. :thumbsup: Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Pulling up a chair. I have a tray of sausage rolls if anyone gets peckish.
Cheers,
Pam

Susan Borgas
05-22-2007, 03:16 AM
I think it hurts me more than the pastels Donna. :lol:
Trish and Lyn.... thanks for watching. :D
Pam if you do a search of WetCanvas with the word grisaille you will find plenty to read on the subject. That is how I studied the subject myself. :thumbsup:
No need to toss a pastel out as a bristle brush will bring life back into your support to make corrections.
Did you say sausage rolls?.... sniff sniff..... can't smell them..... must be because I took so long to get back here everyone has eaten them. :D

Susan Borgas
05-22-2007, 03:19 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek3.jpg
I just love to paint Mount Remarkable bathed in an atmospheric light that gives depth to the painting. Using the flat end of pastels lightly applied to the tooth of the Art Spectrum paper allows small amounts of colour to mix. Each new colour is another layer (not all the areas are applied with each new colour), which in the end starts to smooth out. I have not done any blending; the application of pastel does the blending. I finish with a warm tone that is only touched in minuscule detail to give the Mount a ‘glow’. At the base of the mountain the colour is applied in the same way but with warmer tones. Also the tops of the canopies of the trees are highlighted a little more to give them more shape.

Coming down to the central area: For the most part the grass blades are short because the growth at this time is soon after much needed rain. I found it best to scrape pastel in a horizontal fashion further back against the tree line then as I come towards the creek; follow the bank downwards with short strokes of colour so that one crosses slightly over the other in a very narrow hatch technique. There are roughly six colours used in the grasses that are in sunlight remembering it is very short so some of the colour represents soil. The blades are longer in and around the rocks due to more moisture trapped so this will allow me to make the rocks look so much more grounded than how they would look when sitting on top of soil.

When putting the sky in and around the far right tree I was finding I was becoming quite frustrated with the slow process. Also I had to come back out over the sky with the ‘greens’ to soften the edges, which ended up adding more bulk to the foliage then having to brush pastel off and redo some again because the canopies are excessively heavy. Well I decided to put the sky in before going back into the canopy of the remaining foliage because my trees always seem to look more natural with this technique. I girl is allowed to change her mind isn’t she? :evil: My way of thinking, the darkest darks of the foliage are still best laid in before the sky or they will be contaminated by the lights then look pasty. Still plenty to do in this area and off to do that this very minute….. Catch ya next time! :wave:

soap
05-22-2007, 04:24 AM
No, no, no.....this won't do at all!
:D
I cannot see what you did on the right on those fields at all. I need a close up to see the strokes! It is looking waaaay too impressive!! Need to see the secret strokes to his success.

LEIGH RUST
05-22-2007, 06:07 AM
Another masterpiece! Absolutely gorgeous as usual Susan. Great reading too!

FaeLynn
05-22-2007, 06:46 AM
Just lovely, your colors are great. Looks like a place I'd like to spend an afternoon.
Your style is awesome. I look forward to seeing the rest!
~Fae Lynn

cal studio
05-22-2007, 07:04 AM
This is just unbelievably beautiful. I always admire your work.
I will continue watching for sure.
Cathleen

Pabs
05-22-2007, 07:18 AM
Like many others, I will stay tuned to this development as a couple of years ago we were lucky enough to visit Oz, and the "ghost gums" were something that will always stay in my mind. The reputation you have been given regarding trees now proceeds you!
Regards,
Pabs

Westerngirl
05-22-2007, 08:20 AM
This is already lovely, and it's so much fun to watch you paint this! Thanks for sharing; will be watching closely.

I love your paintings because the light is so different from "over here"!

Donna T
05-22-2007, 03:38 PM
Wow! This is amazing! That mountain is unbelieveably real looking. Thanks so much for explaining your process, especially with the trees. I never know whether to do the tree holes first and paint leaves around them or the other way around.

Donna T

Susan Borgas
05-22-2007, 08:02 PM
No, no, no.....this won't do at all!
:D
I cannot see what you did on the right on those fields at all. I need a close up to see the strokes! It is looking waaaay too impressive!! Need to see the secret strokes to his success.

Sophie I did wonder who would be the first one to ask for a close up. :lol: Your wish is my command and it will be up on WetCanvas later today. :D

Another masterpiece! Absolutely gorgeous as usual Susan. Great reading too!

Leigh thanks so much, I always think exactly the same thing about your own work. As far as the reading goes I think that is the blogger in me. ;)


Just lovely, your colors are great. Looks like a place I'd like to spend an afternoon.
Your style is awesome. I look forward to seeing the rest!
~Fae Lynn

Golly I could end up with a over-flated ego here.... I think this is the first time 'awesome' has been put in the same sentence as my work. A big thank you for that. It is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon..... one of those time when you feel great to be alive.

This is just unbelievably beautiful. I always admire your work.
I will continue watching for sure.
Cathleen

Yep my ego is getting over-flated. ;) Seriously though all the wonderful comments do give me the energy to walk up to the ease and continue painting. Thank you!

Like many others, I will stay tuned to this development as a couple of years ago we were lucky enough to visit Oz, and the "ghost gums" were something that will always stay in my mind. The reputation you have been given regarding trees now proceeds you!
Regards,
Pabs

Oh man that ego..... I hope to get to see my first ghost gum in August of this year when I travel to Central Australia. I am quite excited about this trip because it is all new territory for me. I know the surrounding colours are so very different to where I live.

This is already lovely, and it's so much fun to watch you paint this! Thanks for sharing; will be watching closely.

It is actually a lot of fun having you all watching.

I love your paintings because the light is so different from "over here"!

Yes and it is probably only the last few years I am pushing that light as far as I can in my work.

Wow! This is amazing! That mountain is unbelieveably real looking. Thanks so much for explaining your process, especially with the trees. I never know whether to do the tree holes first and paint leaves around them or the other way around.

Donna T

:lol: I still don't know which way to do the sky; first or last..... I seem to always come back to putting the darks in first followed by the sky colour. If an areas needs to be removed of sky colour out comes the bristle brush for removing pastel so that I have enough tooth on the paper for the tree foliage. The pastel is not wasted as I make new sticks from the pastel dust collected at the bottom in a 'gutter' I usually end up with a lovely cool grey if I remove a lot of blue.

K Taylor-Green
05-22-2007, 11:00 PM
Wow, Susan. Very impressive. Maybe I will learn something!

bruce johnson
05-23-2007, 01:41 AM
Hi Susan
I'm a portraitist not a landscapist but your work is amazing and very inspiring... I checked out your Snapshot and website and would love to use some of your pics... hope you don't mind.. I'll definitely link your website to mine.. beautiful work for sure.. :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

RooGal
05-23-2007, 09:54 AM
Thank you Susan. I'll try another search on grisaille, with everything out there it would not surprise me if I missed some things.

Thank you also for explaining how you have painted the mountains and grass. Truly beautiful.
Cheers,
Pam

Susan Borgas
05-23-2007, 10:09 PM
Wow, Susan. Very impressive. Maybe I will learn something!

Wouldn't art be boring if we did stop learning! :thumbsup:

Hi Susan
I'm a portraitist not a landscapist but your work is amazing and very inspiring... I checked out your Snapshot and website and would love to use some of your pics... hope you don't mind.. I'll definitely link your website to mine.. beautiful work for sure..

Thanks Bruce your comment is appreciated. It is good to get this feedback about SnapShots and get a buzz when I know someone is collecting the photos for their own use....so go for it!!! :D

Thank you Susan. I'll try another search on grisaille, with everything out there it would not surprise me if I missed some things.

Thank you also for explaining how you have painted the mountains and grass. Truly beautiful.
Cheers,
Pam

Pam take a look at Rainbow Bridge (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=260917&highlight=rainbow+bridge) as that post did help me.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_close_up.jpg

With constant power outages yesterday I didn't post the close up. This sample has been cut out of the previous image and not as good as I had hoped. I will take a macro shot and post that when I get a chance. All the same what you see here is may make you realize that there are no hard lines for the grasses although this image is larger than this part of the painting and making it appear smoother. For your interest the tree trunk isn't finished either nor is the fallen limb.

Golly the whole image is larger than life when I look at it on my monitor so you have to think about this part of the painting being actually smaller... well unless you have a tiny monitor ;)

Netty
05-23-2007, 11:15 PM
Wow Susan, This really looks like lots of work!! lots of speckled colours to achieve the end result!! It is really fantastic your painting so far, so realistic and beautiful.
It is interesting how you put the darks in for the tree foliage before you do the sky. Makes a lot of sence as it would lighten the foliage somewhat. I am in awe at how life likethis is! Beautiful!
Annie:)

Susan Borgas
05-28-2007, 09:46 PM
Annie thanks so much. It is best to keep the darks as clean as possible.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek4.jpg

Progress is happening although slowly. This painting is all about the process and enjoying what I am doing rather than constantly watching the clock thinking about wanting to advance the work enough to post.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_close_up2.jpg

These close-up samples are an offering to you for your patience waiting for updates.;)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_close_up3.jpg

The scrubby area to the left of the tree trunk isn't finished but close to it. There will be branches placed in amongst the foliage yet.

Once I have all the areas caught up there possibly will be tweaks here and there as often is the case. Mmmmm....what area will I tackle next.....stay tuned on that one!

Donna T
05-29-2007, 08:38 AM
Thanks for all the close-ups Susan! It is amazing to see how you are doing this. I can see why you will want to take your time on this- you put so much thought into every area and every step you take.

Donna T

Doodlebug1967
05-29-2007, 03:37 PM
OMG! This is incredible. I just logged on quickly at work and now I can't wait to get home so I can read this word for word and scrutinize each photo posted. I'm speechless.

Ronda

*Marina*
05-29-2007, 04:09 PM
I so admire your work, Susan. Lovely to see another wip from you.

RooGal
05-30-2007, 08:57 AM
:thumbsup: Wow Susan. You have no idea how much this is helping me to understand pastels better. This is such a lovely WIP, and your detailed posts certainly deserve a mentor thingy.

Thank you also for the link on Rainbow Bridge. A terrific thread.

Looking forward to the next update.
Cheers,
Pam

winecountry
05-30-2007, 12:55 PM
So wonderful seeing pastel evolve from the highest levels...have to admit, I said to myself "I love the work, but that's not my style...yet the very next painting, I stopped blending the first layers like I usually do and went for blending with the strokes laid on thicker...not that I tried to change it just happened naturally because of the the influence of seeing your work. thanks so much for sharing this very detailed WIP
Colleen

Charles Perera
05-30-2007, 05:31 PM
A great pastel painting lesson.

Charles

Susan Borgas
05-30-2007, 08:01 PM
Thanks for all the close-ups Susan! It is amazing to see how you are doing this. I can see why you will want to take your time on this- you put so much thought into every area and every step you take.

Donna T

Donna last year I was so busy trying to produce as many paintings as possible that I nearly burnt myself out. This year I have stepped back to enjoy my time painting, which I am as it gives me time to think more and finding that the bonus is I am actually learning at the same time.

Ronda, Marina, Pam and Charles, thanks so much.


So wonderful seeing pastel evolve from the highest levels...have to admit, I said to myself "I love the work, but that's not my style...yet the very next painting, I stopped blending the first layers like I usually do and went for blending with the strokes laid on thicker...not that I tried to change it just happened naturally because of the the influence of seeing your work. thanks so much for sharing this very detailed WIP
Colleen

Colleen I used to blend when I first started pastels. I do wonder if it is a natural instinct to want to touch and spread the colour around in this manner. I found after awhile though if I let the pastel sticks and paper themselves do the work I then ended up with a much more natural landscape. If I were to paint a 'still life' with silks and smooth objects I would imagine I would be blending with my finger. When I do blend I use my little finger because I find that the pressure is light with no loss of skin. Also I am inclined to not over blend when using my little pinky. I do this for my skies.

One thing I do sometimes do is stain the paper with a light coat of pastel using a complimentary colour or if I want to cool down an area for added distance in the background. The stain is rubbed into the paper but sometimes there are exceptions when I don't smooth the pastel off. You will see I have a purple glaze on the mountain in this WIP, it hasn't been blended at all by my finger. Some of the pastel will naturally smooth and grey off when colour is added and other will stay more prominent, which will bring those areas slightly forward because there is more texture and 'cleaner' application of pastel.

Am I giving all my secrets away! :lol:

Susan Borgas
05-30-2007, 08:07 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek5.jpg

Moving on from the previous post my next stint on this work had me putting in a few twigs and timber in the mass of foliage to the left of the large tree trunks. I then moved down to the base of that collection of growth and attached them to the ground so that the group of trees and shrubs were not floating.

Progressing in a downward direction I worked on the bank of the creek at all times thinking about the light striking on this area. As so often these days my thoughts are constantly thinking about how the light effects the shadowed areas. They are NOT a mass of the darkest darks because of the reflective light that bounces around in them. There is a softer shadow in amongst the darker areas where a little more light finds it way through the growth of trees above. I also have in my own mind that the shadows further away from the object throwing the darker colour is softer than right up against it. For example a tree trunk shadow will be stronger near the base than the part of the shaded area that is further out.

Ok enough prattle about shadows.... back to the bank of the creek. As I did on the right hand side of the bank I worked the left hand side with my pastel stokes following down the side of the slope. In nature when there is rain, the water would run downwards into the creek with tiny little water courses and find that by following the banks downwards with my pastel strokes helps to imitate what nature does. Of course nature doesn't always play fair so I tend to help it along at times as well. :evil:

I have started placing in the middle ground to the right of of the large tree trunks so my guess is when starting work today that area will be continued on with.

meowmeow
05-30-2007, 08:39 PM
Wow! I can't believe I almost missed this show! This is beautiful....and the close ups are wonderful. I always enjoy your work so it is terrific to be able to follow along.
Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Sandy

jochem25
05-31-2007, 05:18 AM
thanx for the wips, it seems to become very good. Nice details and natural colors.

Artaholic
05-31-2007, 10:52 PM
Lthalnk ;you for lthe close ups . I want to try this method on something. This is going to be another beautiful work.

Susan Borgas
06-01-2007, 08:56 PM
Sandy, Jochem and Gerry, thanks so much for your comments.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jun-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek6.jpg

Working on the background to the right from the largest tree trunks is the hardest section so far of this pastel painting. Always thinking about the aerial and atmospheric perspective some of the contrast maybe a little strong yet, but am aware that once the foliage is put in place that some areas will grey off as well as a reduced amount of contrast.

Until next time, take care! :wave:

winecountry
06-01-2007, 11:41 PM
I'm learning so much from this, like having an art class.

I am wondering a couple of things...how many pastels approx are you using to do this? or what is a typical # for a landscape. Do you keep a consistant set of colors, that you begin to know will work? How do you know what vaules you are going to use in the water, since you are leaving it to last?

thanks, loving every post!
colleen

Merriel
06-02-2007, 06:31 PM
Susan: This is beautiful and your telling all you secrets really help. Thanks
so much.

Merriel

Susan Borgas
06-07-2007, 03:14 AM
I'm learning so much from this, like having an art class.

I am wondering a couple of things...how many pastels approx are you using to do this? or what is a typical # for a landscape. Do you keep a consistant set of colors, that you begin to know will work? How do you know what vaules you are going to use in the water, since you are leaving it to last?

thanks, loving every post!
colleen

Colleen what I will do is take a photo of my pastels that have been used on this work once I have finished and post it here. As to the water I use the same colours that are already in use but more of the darker tones rather than picking up the light values as you see in the landscape.

Susan: This is beautiful and your telling all you secrets really help. Thanks
so much.

Merriel

This is good Merriel....I think!!! :lol:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jun-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek7.jpg

There is a lot more to do in the canopy area although the basics are there now to help guide me with the rest.

It wasn't until I put some music on with plenty of upbeat that I could get into the rhythm of painting the foliage of the trees. My belief is it must be the tempo that helps the mind to free up to get on with the job at hand. Does this ever happen to you?

My apologies for the long breaks between my updates but can't do much about it when there is a lot going on in my life. My husband and I will be off for a few days camping hence another delay for my next update. Until then, Cheers! :wave:

LEIGH RUST
06-07-2007, 06:35 AM
I always used to work to music. I found this especially handy when working on seascapes because I could get into the rhythm on the waves.

bnoonan
06-07-2007, 11:38 AM
Wow - how did I almost miss this one? I'm pulling up a comfortable chair and settling in for the process.

Thanks... Oh and I'm listening to music too while I watch.... Barb

Bringer
06-07-2007, 05:36 PM
Hi Susan,

You are among the best landscape painters here at the pastels forum.
I was looking at your work in progress and suddenly came to mind something(between others) that makes your works special. It's how you can give the sensation of atmospheric perspective. Namely the kind of nebula feeling to the farthest parts.

Kind regards,

José

bruce johnson
06-07-2007, 09:49 PM
You're quite good aren't you Susan :lol: :lol: you know I think your work is amazing.. I'm loving watching this unfold.. I don't use music.. a good french red gets me in the mood for painting.. :thumbsup:

grampy bone
06-07-2007, 10:07 PM
I'm really glad I found this thread. Can't wait to see the finished piece...will it be soon?

hopalong
06-08-2007, 09:33 AM
Wow! Do you ever hava command of the media and painting! I'm an oily so things have to be done in a different order but this is an amazing turorial. I appreciated the discussion of how you work back and forth between sky holes and tree foliage. I'm staying tuned. Thanks very much

Susan Borgas
06-12-2007, 09:45 PM
I always used to work to music. I found this especially handy when working on seascapes because I could get into the rhythm on the waves.

I can just imagine music helping paint the sea.

Wow - how did I almost miss this one? I'm pulling up a comfortable chair and settling in for the process.

Thanks... Oh and I'm listening to music too while I watch.... Barb

Better make that a VERY comfortable chair and LOTS of music as you maybe watching awhile yet. ;)


You are among the best landscape painters here at the pastels forum.
I was looking at your work in progress and suddenly came to mind something(between others) that makes your works special. It's how you can give the sensation of atmospheric perspective. Namely the kind of nebula feeling to the farthest parts.

Kind regards,

José

Gosh thanks José! :o
I do concentrate a lot on the atmospheric perspective. I think back on some of my earlier work and golly gosh they are terrible and lack so much of what I try to achieve now. I guess these things come with experience and the development of a style in ones work.

You're quite good aren't you Susan you know I think your work is amazing.. I'm loving watching this unfold.. I don't use music.. a good french red gets me in the mood for painting..

Now there is a thought, perhaps I should try a wine and see what happens.:D

I'm really glad I found this thread. Can't wait to see the finished piece...will it be soon?

I keep asking myself that same question! :lol:

Wow! Do you ever hava command of the media and painting! I'm an oily so things have to be done in a different order but this is an amazing turorial. I appreciated the discussion of how you work back and forth between sky holes and tree foliage. I'm staying tuned. Thanks very much

Gosh thanks! It is nice to have you along for the ride. You oily pastel people have my admiration; no way can I handle them!

Susan Borgas
06-14-2007, 09:11 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jun-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek8.jpg

The canopy is now well on its way. I haven't place the twigs and smaller branches in yet because I want to be sure that I have the foliage the way that I want it before flicking and squiggling fat and thin lines in the canopy.

I still have the banks to complete but before doing so dropped in the sky colour into the water reflections, as I am getting impatient to start in this area. This blue will need the values adjusted slightly but won't be doing that until the surrounding refections and transparent water are added so that I can 'read' what is there correctly.

I have plans of working on this painting for the next two days in the hope of finishing it to the point of only minor adjustments needed. Now I hope I haven't jinxed my time for this by revealing my line of attack! :rolleyes: :p

*Violet*
06-15-2007, 12:41 AM
i just found this thread too and finally have picked up my jaw from my lap ... i'll repeat whoever said your work is awesome ... it truly is ... i can't wait to see more ... but i will ... :) ... i'm glad you're enjoying the process and i think it's wonderful that you're sharing so much about the process ... kudos to ya !!

LEIGH RUST
06-15-2007, 03:55 AM
The canopy looks amazing Susan! Cant' wait to see the completed piece.

Donna T
06-15-2007, 09:29 AM
Susan, this is absolutely amazing and it looks so beautiful already. I think that distant mountain looks more real than real life! The sense of depth in this is incredible and you always do such gorgeous trees. I will be watching and trying to learn from how you do the water. Thanks so much for sharing!

Donna T

Susan Borgas
06-15-2007, 08:55 PM
i just found this thread too and finally have picked up my jaw from my lap ... i'll repeat whoever said your work is awesome ... it truly is ... i can't wait to see more ... but i will ... ... i'm glad you're enjoying the process and i think it's wonderful that you're sharing so much about the process ... kudos to ya !!
Violet thanks. We all have something to share not to say that each and everyone will paint the same way by watching how another artist works. I know I have learnt a lot from artist here at WetCanvas and wouldn't be doing what I do now if I didn't have this forum. This is my way to give something back.

The canopy looks amazing Susan! Cant' wait to see the completed piece.
Thanks Leigh, it is nice to get this painting as far as I have. Nicer still when it is finished. ;)

Susan, this is absolutely amazing and it looks so beautiful already. I think that distant mountain looks more real than real life! The sense of depth in this is incredible and you always do such gorgeous trees. I will be watching and trying to learn from how you do the water. Thanks so much for sharing!
Donna thanks so much. Your words are very encouraging because I do set out at the very beginning to achieve a lot of depth in my work and what you and others say helps me to think that I have done this. You will be happy to see that the water is now on the way. :D

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jun-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek9_copy.jpg

Anyone would think I have fleas as I am now at the stage of the painting that I do a lot of head scratching from my brain going into overload, as I think about how and where I lay my pastel strokes. Most of these marks consist of vertical and horizontal application to mimic water reflections. Also some of the vertical lines are squiggled onto the paper to give the impression that the water has subtle movement to it.

For the most part water reflections are darker than the object that it reflects. This is also true with transparent water. What we see under water in nature is darker and murkier which makes edges of what we see softer and not so dominant. The values will actually be very similar if not mostly the same. It is the colour of the object that makes it seem lighter when laid against another because if we were to squint at what we see under water, the values would be generally the same. If I get my values correct we should be able to see transparent water, reflections and shadow across this water.

I'm sorry if I am confusing you as what I consider I know in my own head isn't something I find easy to write down.

I think there is going to be a lot more head scratching over the next day or so to really nail this work. :rolleyes: :wave:

RooGal
06-15-2007, 09:39 PM
:thumbsup: Wow, coming along so beautifully.

I am enlightened by your analysis and thoughts that you are sharing with us. You don't seem to be confusing me at any rate. Could that mean that I'm learning something? It looks to me that you are laying the colors side by side, no blending. Do you use pencils at all, for some of those skinny branches?

Simply breathtaking. Thank you again for sharing this with us.
Cheers,
Pam :wave:

Constellation
06-16-2007, 08:36 AM
Very beautifully done! Donna R.

Susan Borgas
06-16-2007, 08:50 PM
Wow, coming along so beautifully.

I am enlightened by your analysis and thoughts that you are sharing with us. You don't seem to be confusing me at any rate. Could that mean that I'm learning something? It looks to me that you are laying the colors side by side, no blending. Do you use pencils at all, for some of those skinny branches?

Simply breathtaking. Thank you again for sharing this with us.
Cheers,
Pam

Yes I am for the most part laying the colours next to each other with no blending. No pastel pencils at this point although may use the odd one for fine twigs. Mostly I use a sharp edge of a broken pastel stick.

Very beautifully done! Donna R.

Donna, thank you!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jun-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek10.jpg

Still working on the water the progress is slowing and surely coming to completion in this area. I estimate another four hours on the water to bring it up to my own satisfaction. Probably another four hours on top of that to finish off the rest of the painting.

Unlike my last post having more pastel on the paper I have used a colour shaper to blend the colours in the reflections. The direction of the blending is mostly vertical in the reflections with some horizontal over the transparent water.

There isn't much I can add about the water so rather than bore you to tears with what seems little progress I think I will now leave my next post of this work until completed.

If there is something bothering you I am all ears and eyes for critique of this work so don't hold back. :D

tURBOCAT
06-17-2007, 08:58 AM
Susan, this piece is stunning. Such detail and masterful use of color.

Donna T
06-17-2007, 09:32 AM
That water is incredible, Susan!!! I expect my finger to get wet if I touch my computer screen! Wow, this will truly be a winner when you are finished. Thanks so much for describing how you did it.

Donna T

jochem25
06-18-2007, 03:36 AM
it becomes marvelous!

Netty
06-18-2007, 04:52 AM
Incredible!!! Susan!! This is fantastic, such a beautiful piece with great distance, atmosphere, realistic colours!! Its awesome..

Annie:)

cal studio
06-18-2007, 06:56 AM
I am completely blown away!!!!!!!

Cathleen

Artaholic
06-18-2007, 01:05 PM
I am so enlightened with the process you go through and feel like I have learned more that in any thing I have been taught . I waited until I was so old to get back into fine art and wish I had continued when I was younger ;you can't believe how much I appreciate your detailed descriptions.They give me a whole new way to think when doing a landcscape. Can't wait to do water again. Thank you!!

Mikki Petersen
06-18-2007, 01:41 PM
What a great WIP! I scrolled through with baited breath waiting to see the water appear...and it's sensational! I'm finding that protuberance reaching into the water from the tree on the right side of the creek to be distracting...I keep wondering what it is...a root? Big one, if it is. Anyway, despite my distractions, this is a sensational painting. I've seen photos you work from and am always astonished at the way you are able to romanticize a basicly arid area. Wonderful!

Mikki

Susan Borgas
06-30-2007, 03:06 AM
Thanks for your patience with this final update and the lovely comments that have been posted.

Mikki it is a root and do understand your distraction with it. I did 'quieten' this area down with less contrast since my last post to see if it helps. These trees are so old that they do have roots forming odd shames as they seek out water and strangely enough did wonder if someone would mention something about it hence not surprised by your comment.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek11.jpg

When I took a photo of this work I did consider it finished. On my monitor I see straight away a problem with the reflection where there is a sharp edge of light just to the left of the large curled root. I think some movement of water to take that straight edge off would benefit this area greatly.

Since my last posting the area of the shaded stones and tallish grass to the right has been completed. Also the remainder of the right hand side bank that is in light has now had dry leaf litter and grasses added. Water is finished other than a little adjustment on that light area that I spoke about. Twigs have been placed in the canopy as well as any other minor adjustments that needed doing.

I also remember a promised photo of my pastels that have been used with this work. I will do that tomorrow as well as answer any questions that you may like to ask. Also please do jump in and tell me of any concerns that you see with this pastel; living with it I tend to become blind with what needs to be done. :wave:

dbjs
06-30-2007, 03:27 AM
This is just absolutly stunning! I really love it! Thank you so much for sharing it. I so want to do a landscape but I haven't had the nerve yet. Now with this wip, I think I might just try it out. Thank you very very much! :D

*Violet*
06-30-2007, 04:28 AM
what a fabulous painting !! .... you're awe inspiring to say the least ... the wip was wonderful ... very informative and appreciated ... there is one thing that i think you might wish to consider ... the canopy in the top left quarter is the same throughout behind those two tree trunks ... i'd think there'd be lighter blues toward the horizon behind them ... perhaps suggesting the horizon a teensy bit more than it does ... enough to add a teensy bit of interest to that area ... what do you think?

soap
06-30-2007, 09:32 AM
Fabulous. I would love a HUGE picture of it - is that possible? WC won't let you though. I'd buy it if I had the money. hmm....am going back to your website to dream about what I can have on the wall.....

Thanks so much for sharing and doing the WIP

Susan Borgas
07-01-2007, 01:59 AM
This is just absolutly stunning! I really love it! Thank you so much for sharing it. I so want to do a landscape but I haven't had the nerve yet. Now with this wip, I think I might just try it out. Thank you very very much!

Your welcome and my admiration goes to your work as well. :thumbsup:

what a fabulous painting !! .... you're awe inspiring to say the least ... the wip was wonderful ... very informative and appreciated ... there is one thing that i think you might wish to consider ... the canopy in the top left quarter is the same throughout behind those two tree trunks ... i'd think there'd be lighter blues toward the horizon behind them ... perhaps suggesting the horizon a teensy bit more than it does ... enough to add a teensy bit of interest to that area ... what do you think?

Violet I am not really sure where you mean and don't mind if you scribble on my image using a paint software then posting back in this thread. There is a creek that runs back behind the two trunks with vegetation much thicker because we are looking at a path where there are many trees growing along a creek(on left hand side). I have already thinned some of this area out to gain some depth but not really sure if I should do anymore. Of course it is much harder to judge a picture on our monitor to standing in front of a much larger work in real life. I am glad that you have brought it up though as it is all food for thought. Thanks for that. :D

Fabulous. I would love a HUGE picture of it - is that possible? WC won't let you though. I'd buy it if I had the money. hmm....am going back to your website to dream about what I can have on the wall.....

Thanks so much for sharing and doing the WIP

:lol: Sophie I don't even go any bigger on my website with images of my paintings. :D

I will be back shortly with the promised photos of my pastels that I used.... visitors have just turned up at my home.... catch you in a little while. :thumbsup:

Susan Borgas
07-01-2007, 03:41 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jul-2007/13752-Pastel_used_2.jpg

On completing the pastel work the first image shows the pastels that I was constantly picking up and putting down in a given day. They are resting on soft foam in a pull out drawer of my easel. The foam is also used to wipe the pastels against to keep my colours clean. These two images show you all the pastels for my last project that I did use.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jul-2007/13752-Pastel_used.jpg

I am right handed and this second image displays my pastels that are on a trolley to my right. Usually what I do is at the end of my days work, give a final wipe to the pastel on that piece of foam that you see in the bottom left and place in the plastic tray (recycled from supermarket) for a fresh clean start at the easel the next day. In other words there will be no pastels left in the drawer as you see in the first image. The white charcoal pencil was used to sign my name. The dark shape at the back is kneadable eraser, which I knead while working to keep my hands clean. It is also handy for erasing mistakes when I am working.

Now all I have to do is give a final clean to the pastels and place them back into their special boxes for another day when I start a new pastel project.

For those that want to see larger images I do have them posted here (http://susanborgas.blogspot.com/2007/07/pastels.html) on my blog. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

:wave:

soap
07-01-2007, 03:57 AM
Thanks Susan. Does that foam work well for wiping clean? My pastels are usually coming out of their drawers and lie in front of my table easel on a piece of newspaper, but after some painting I can hardly recognize the colours anymore. Perhaps I should get a pad of foam?

Susan Borgas
07-01-2007, 04:13 AM
Foam is fantastic for cleaning pastels Sophie. The pastel dust works its way through to the bottom of the foam and it is a good idea to wash by hand in warm water once a pastel work is finished. The texture of the foam that I am using is very fine and soft, hence does not 'bite' off pastel in excess but brings them up lovely and clean. I would not recommend a firm/coarse foam for this job because I believe it would waste pastel over a period of time.

soap
07-01-2007, 05:05 AM
Thanks for that. I see where I could find foam around here......(??).
Again, magical painting.

*Violet*
07-01-2007, 08:39 AM
okee dokee susan .... as requested i dabbled a bit to i guess open the canopy up a bit ... even tho it might be thick in reality, i just think it might benefit from a little *airyness* there ... just a bit ... here's my dabbling
....http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jul-2007/46454-a_a_creek.jpg

and perhaps i overdid it a bit in the middle ... but if you download my pic you'd be able to see the dabs i did of the middle blue of your open sky ... the lighter blue was tooo light ... but i like how it carries the horizon on ... that distant hill ...

Susan Borgas
07-02-2007, 01:21 AM
Ah I see where you mean Violet :) . So that you all can see this area properly and how different it looks from an imaged that has been shrunk down I am posting a closeup of that spot for you to scrutinise.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jul-2007/13752-Waters_Path_-_Willochra_Creek_upper_left.jpg

Violet makes a valid point and may consider a slightly lighter tone at the lower part of the horizon but wary of doing so as sky holes usually are darker in foliage. Also the light is coming across from the right and the sky would naturally be darker on the left hand side. Also this area has already been thinned out with growth of trees that are growing along the banks because the creek bed runs back from the viewer.

Gosh I am really thinking on this one.... that is what is so good about you artists here at WetCanvas, the grey matter (brain) gets a good workout. :D

For now I am going to sit on the fence with this one to see which way I fall. Thanks so much for all your wonderful input to this thread, you are the best and I can't say that often enough! :thumbsup: :wave:

Donna T
07-02-2007, 09:08 AM
Susan, this is such a beautiful work of art and I can't thank you enough for showing us your steps along the way. My eye hits that sky reflection on the water and then travels back through the trees to those amazing mountains. You have choreographed that path perfectly! I will be studying your creek for a long time and I thank you for teaching me something: still water is made up of either sky reflections or reflections from the things along the water. There don't seem to be any generic water areas. Nothing that can't be identified as either a reflection of the sky or some element of the ground. Even your shadows on the water are transparent and the source of the underlying reflection can be identified. Those stones beneath the water will amaze me for some time, that's quite an effect to pull off. I hope you are taking a much deserved break before starting your next one! :)

Donna T

Diana_pastels
07-02-2007, 09:28 AM
Susan,
This is absolutely wonderful! The detail, yet the distance you have created is perfect. I am in awe of the water and the trees. Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with us.
Diana

*Violet*
07-02-2007, 11:48 AM
Ah I see where you mean Violet :) . <snip>
... sky holes usually are darker in foliage. Also the light is coming across from the right and the sky would naturally be darker on the left hand side. <snip>

as i found out, susan !! ... :lol: ... at first i tried the lightest blue that was on the horizon and it was very obvious that a deeper blue was required ... that's why i chose a shade more toward the middle of that open sky ... i'm happy you can see what i meant and very flattered that you're even considering my suggestion! ... i do realize, tho, that an opinion or suggestion is merely presented for just that, consideration ... afterall, it is all about artistic interpretation and artistic licence! ... :):) ...

upast
07-02-2007, 02:23 PM
I love this painting, especially the water, the way you have done the pebbles and the broken colour in the grass. I am returning to pastels for awhile from oils too. Why can't I stick to one medium? Only one slight niggle is that large curly root. I think it grabs your eye too much for the wrong reason, because it looks a bit unnatural - but that's just my opinion,

bruce johnson
07-02-2007, 06:49 PM
Brilliant finish Susan... this is fabulous... :clap: :clap: :clap: :thumbsup:

Susan Borgas
07-04-2007, 08:24 AM
Susan, this is such a beautiful work of art and I can't thank you enough for showing us your steps along the way. My eye hits that sky reflection on the water and then travels back through the trees to those amazing mountains. You have choreographed that path perfectly! I will be studying your creek for a long time and I thank you for teaching me something: still water is made up of either sky reflections or reflections from the things along the water. There don't seem to be any generic water areas. Nothing that can't be identified as either a reflection of the sky or some element of the ground. Even your shadows on the water are transparent and the source of the underlying reflection can be identified. Those stones beneath the water will amaze me for some time, that's quite an effect to pull off. I hope you are taking a much deserved break before starting your next one!

Donna T

Donna the trick is to think of still water like painting clear glass; paint the shapes and values and what you see as water will appear. As to a break..... not just yet, as I still have paintings to finish for an up and coming exhibition in September. :D

This is absolutely wonderful! The detail, yet the distance you have created is perfect. I am in awe of the water and the trees. Thank you so much for sharing your time and talent with us.
Diana

Diana you are very welcome, I have actually learned a lot from this thread myself because it makes me really think much more before adding my pastel strokes and my effort to explain my process.

as i found out, susan !! ... ... at first i tried the lightest blue that was on the horizon and it was very obvious that a deeper blue was required ... that's why i chose a shade more toward the middle of that open sky ... i'm happy you can see what i meant and very flattered that you're even considering my suggestion! ... i do realize, tho, that an opinion or suggestion is merely presented for just that, consideration ... afterall, it is all about artistic interpretation and artistic licence! ... ...

Violet I am still looking and thinking about it. I have decided for now to let the painting rest while working on my oil painting then will take another look with much fresher eyes. :thumbsup:

I love this painting, especially the water, the way you have done the pebbles and the broken colour in the grass. I am returning to pastels for awhile from oils too. Why can't I stick to one medium? Only one slight niggle is that large curly root. I think it grabs your eye too much for the wrong reason, because it looks a bit unnatural - but that's just my opinion,

John your opinion is important to me because you are the second person to bring this up and that tells me that area needs to be toned down some more. Thank you :D

Brilliant finish Susan... this is fabulous...

Ah Bruce, thanks so much, the clappies are very much appreciated.

a big :wave: to you all....cheers!

Tom Christopher
07-04-2007, 10:43 AM
Susan-this is an outstanding work -thank you for taking the time to show us each step- tom

binkie
07-05-2007, 02:47 AM
Don't know how I missed this while you were working on it, but I'm so glad I didn't miss it entirely. Your work is beyond supreme! Thank you so much for sharing the steps with us.

binkie

Susan Borgas
07-05-2007, 08:11 PM
Thanks guys! :wave:

GaryNorthants
07-05-2007, 08:47 PM
Hi Susan, I caught the beginning of this and missed it until now, no idea how. Anyway having found it again can I also add my thanks and tell you I have it bookmarked now to study properly. Absolutely fabulous painting.
Thank you again for all the time spent posting for us
Gary

Alachua Artist
07-05-2007, 08:57 PM
I am stunned by this superb painting. All I can say is HOLYMOLY HOLYMOLY!!

Mary Brigid
07-06-2007, 07:11 PM
Susan I have really enjoyed seeing the progress of your painting in this thread. Thank you so much.. And it turned out to be a stunning work
Mary Brigid

Susan Borgas
07-06-2007, 07:50 PM
Gary, Wendy and Mary, thanks so much for your lovely comments.

karenelkan
07-06-2007, 09:58 PM
Oh my gosh! This is just wonderful! I love it!

Susan Borgas
07-08-2007, 07:14 PM
Karen thanks so much. :wave:

*Marina*
07-09-2007, 09:01 AM
Superb painting Susan. Have been away for a while and only just saw the finish.

bauble girl
07-11-2007, 08:29 AM
best work I have seen in a long time

Susan Borgas
07-13-2007, 02:01 AM
A big thanks to you both, your comments are very much appreciated. :wave:

LEIGH RUST
08-26-2007, 01:19 AM
Truly stunning Susan! Your new work is just magnificent! Any chance of us seeing your work in Australian Artist magazine? I think they need to be highlighting an artist with your talent...

Susan Borgas
09-09-2007, 07:22 PM
Leigh I am so sorry about my delay in replying as I have just arrived home from a three week trip in Central Australia, which has my head spinning with ideas to paint.

I am chuffed that you like my work and have considered submitting an article to the Australian Artist magazine for 2008 to see what they had to say.

Tressa
09-09-2007, 09:00 PM
Cheers Susan!!! A totally wonderfully expected piece of art from your creative mind!!! Good to see you on here, was on your webpage the other day!! hope you had a lovely holiday!!! Now, back at the farm, eh?
Tres

Susan Borgas
09-09-2007, 09:44 PM
Hi there Tres! Yes now back on the farm for a week then off again for another three weeks working at Wilpena Pound as I do each year. I will need another holiday to get over all this running around. ;)

HarvestMoon
09-12-2007, 04:06 PM
SUPER- boy was this a grand demo for us all...
Linda

formerlyunknownart
09-14-2007, 11:12 AM
Wow!! Thanks so much for this. For some reason I can't get the look I want in landscapes with pastel, but you show me that it can be done. I wont' give up but will keep working on this over time. Can you tell me please what size this painting is? I'm beginning to suspect that I am working too small, but I dont' know.

Thanks for this WIP! You are an outstanding landscapist!!! :thumbsup: