View Full Version : Pastel Strokes - April 2009

Paula Ford
04-01-2009, 11:05 AM
Welcome to Pastel Strokes April 2009!

Those who have participated in previous months already know the guidelines. For all newbies to this monthly challenge, they are as follows:

* An individual volunteering to host the monthly project proposes to a guide or a moderator a new photo reference near the beginning of the month. (We need volunteers!!)

* The guide or moderator approves the host and reference photo(s) and the selected host posts the project in Pastel Talk and also a thread in the Soft Pastel Studio with a link to the Pastel Talk project.

* Interested participants create a painting from the photo(s) and upload it to this thread for viewing and discussion.

* The image may be cropped, rearranged, and interpreted in any manner! Use different effects in your software program and try painting something different, tweak the color, add or subtract things.

* You may paint as many versions and as many photos as you like, and they may be any size.

This is a friendly chance to share the creative venture. MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN WITH IT!

This month I've chosen some different subjects.

1. This gorgeous photo is donated to us by Phil Bates!!


2. A beautiful Tennessee landscape just down the road from my house.


3. A still life, part of my vintage blue canister set and a paperweight.


4. Our beautiful boy Alex!


5. A gorgeous abandoned building with a Tennessee mountain in the background in Jasper, TN.


6. A beetle that was on my deck last summer (ick!).


Kathryn Wilson
04-01-2009, 11:26 AM
Beautiful Paula - thanks for Hosting. Have fun!

04-01-2009, 12:54 PM
Paula, some nice pick, I'm a sucker for old buildings. I'll have to give this a shot. maybe two of these.

04-01-2009, 01:00 PM
Paula (and Phil) - great photos! I may even try one (or more) of these!


04-01-2009, 01:50 PM
Oh wow! Paula, you chose these images to tempt me back to this forum and my softies! Mmmm... glass, colored glass, a beautiful cat, wonderful landscapes!

Your paperweight is very cool. I collected a few of those too and may well be trying this thanks to Charlie's class. Kitten has those same canisters, they're gorgeous.

Paula Ford
04-01-2009, 01:56 PM
Thanks you guys! Let's get painting!!

Robert, I collect paperweights and have about 50 right now.

04-01-2009, 02:28 PM
Gorgeous images...I'm looking forward to doing some pastels this month! I'm going to try the landscapes. I have difficulty with them. When I post them..please critique seriously. I need advice.

Paula Ford
04-01-2009, 02:32 PM
Hi peg, Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing your paintings!

At the time you post, please ask for a critique then. That way people who don't read every post, except for the ones that have paintings, will see your request.

04-01-2009, 03:59 PM
Paula, that is awesome. I have half a dozen ranging from an art glass signature limited edition one to an amusing $5 dollar store one with dolphins that I just happened to like. I'm not sure that's even a collection -- but I do like them all. I'm tempted to do yours sometime this month because that is so spectacular.

The texture of the tiles shining through the canisters is another great detail in that photo. I might smooth that out though if I'm going loose instead of doing some Pontingesque realism version.

Also, am I right about handsome Alex's pose? Is he laying on his back with his neck up at a right angle to look at you over waves of fluffy tummy fur? The poofy thick fluffy fur under his chin seems like there's too much for it to be his chest if his body's going out behind him, but not if he looked up while he was laying on his back.

When Ari gets in that position it's his bait-to-slash pose. It's "I want to play rough and grab you with my claws, try to swat me" rather than "Oh come pet my fluffy tummy."

04-01-2009, 06:50 PM
OK I tried one it's not that good but how else am I going to learn. here it is 9/12 on gray paper please C&C. thanks you. the left side is kind of dark but by no means that dark in the pic. by the way the building may be old but the roof isn't. colour 5v roofing hasn't been around that long.


Paula Ford
04-01-2009, 08:07 PM
PETE!! What do you mean this isn't good?!?! It's fabulous! WOW, look at those grasses. They look so real. Fabulous job Pete! I think it's your best yet.

My only suggestion is to lighten up and add blues or purples to that distant mountain on the left.

Beautiful job Pete!

04-02-2009, 12:05 AM
Pete, that came out so great! I love the grasses and the way you got the texture of the building. Also it's cool that you added some clouds into the sky to break up that vast empty blue.

04-02-2009, 10:55 AM
Thanks for the great photos Paula and Phil. I'm in, but I'm going to have to decide which one to pick hmmmm. By the way, Paula, your boy Alex is a dead ringer for our kitty Phoenix. (We just lost him last year, and boy does that shot bring back memories). Here is a photo of him.


04-02-2009, 01:01 PM

Here is my contribution. Thought I'd crop it to make it a little easier. It still needs some adjustments in the building & grass.

Paula Ford
04-02-2009, 01:04 PM
:eek: Oh my gosh! He looks just like Alex!! WOW! He's beautiful Kym! I'm so sorry for your loss :crying:

Paula Ford
04-02-2009, 01:05 PM
nanaj, How beautifully colorful your painting is!! So lovely!

04-02-2009, 02:12 PM
Hi everyone,

This is my first contribution to a monthly strokes challenge... great photos! I chose the first one and did this quickie - 10 x 8 on Wallis museum with mostly ludwigs and sennies:


Did have fun getting dusty but missing my studio and having more choices of colors, as I've been down in rainy south carolina for the winter and didn't bring many supplies.

hard cc's always welcome.


04-02-2009, 02:52 PM
Kym, he does look just like Alex. What a handsome cat! He had the same coat that Ari does, both of them have Ari's proportions and beautiful silvery hair. I feel for you so much for your loss.

nanaj, your landscape is bright and lovely! I like the crop you did and agree on where you want to add a little more work.

Leslie, your landscape is spectacular. So true and bright and real. I like the distance effects you used, it's subtle but very powerful. I know that feeling of not having all your supplies is crazymaking. For a while most of my pastels were buried under other stuff and I'd work with what I had on top but be very annoyed at not having all of them.

Paula Ford
04-02-2009, 03:12 PM
Wow Leslie!! Gorgeous piece!! No hard critique here...I love it, as is!

Scott J.
04-03-2009, 02:37 AM
Nice work posted already! Okay, the "Ick Bug" was just too fun to resist. 9x12 on Pastel Card; about one and a half hours.

I added the ladybug just for fun and titled it, "David & Goliath."

C&C by all means....

04-03-2009, 02:40 AM
Scott, that is spectacular. I love the light in it, the drama, the menacing view you give the big bug of the reference and that little ladybug is so well rendered it's as if you had one for it. The golden glow reflecting up under the stick is cool, it implies something big and golden like a patch of flowers or autumn leaves nearby -- the scene is bigger than the painting.

Accurate, wild, dangerous, beautiful. Great work!

I've got a lot to live up to when I tackle one of these. Maybe I'll do Alex when my Pans package arrives and I've got all those tints and shades.

Paula Ford
04-03-2009, 10:01 AM
Absolutely fabulous!!! My hubby loves it too! Great job on this Scott! I'm so glad somebody painted that handsome (ick!) bug! The ladybug is wonderful also and completes the composition.

Shirl Parker
04-03-2009, 11:02 AM
I hope that ick bug is a vegetarian, otherwise, bye bye lady bug.

Donna T
04-03-2009, 11:33 AM
Pete, your painting is really beautiful! I agree with Paula - your best yet!

nanaj, great crop and color choices! Very nice work!

Leslie, you did such a nice job with a limited amount of pastels. I love the way you moved from greens to blues to shape those hills. I think we're getting the same rain up here ... day after day.

Scott, you are so creative! Great work on the ick bug but I'm rootin' for the ladybug.


Scott J.
04-03-2009, 11:44 AM
Thanks so much Paula and Robert for your enthusiasm, and again to Paula for not being creeped out before getting such an amazing photo!

Shirl, I know what you mean; as soon as I finished the painting I started feeling kind of bad for the ladybug. I imagine I'll have him on my conscience for some time....

Donna, thanks very much. I'm with you; always root for the underdog....

04-03-2009, 10:17 PM
Hi everyone,

Here's my first attempt. The reference photos are so good I'm going to try to do at least one more this month. This is 9x12 on Colorfix paper using Unison, Great American and NuPastel. The building is, uhhh, shall we say a little crooked. But, it's an old building and so I decided to paint it that way. Really, I did. :o


Paula Ford
04-03-2009, 10:20 PM
Great work here John!! You're right! The building is old and crooked...really! Beautiful bright colors really make this special.

04-04-2009, 01:23 PM
John, this is very nice love the old building.

04-04-2009, 02:59 PM
Your pictures are wonderful thank you, I am still a beginner but I should give them a try anyway.

04-04-2009, 03:47 PM
I'm going to try this month too i put last months off until too late!

Im expecting some big animals to roam through the first one...

wow Pete that was fast! very nice i agree with Paula alittle blue in the mountain will push it back.

Nanja a beautiful colorful building!

Leslie gorgeous quickie! the blues work so well in the mountains!

Scott i was wondering if anyone would do this one and what would it look like...spactacular job! the blue highlighs against the red works really well!

John your building is leaning! very colorful your purple mountain looks great.

04-04-2009, 05:07 PM
Here's my attempt. Need to take a break from trying portraits. 9 X !2 Colourfix paper using mostly Senneliers and a few others.


04-04-2009, 06:39 PM
Well done, John! I like the texture on the building, the varied reflections on the windows and the way you shaded the sky side to side as well as vertically. I've started noticing that since I read chapter 5 of Carlson's Landscape Guide -- it really gives a great effect. Cool painting!

Marcia, yours is so color-drenched and lovely. I like the way your interpretation is so different and still so true to the reference. You handled the building texture in a great way and the grasses in the foreground are gorgeous.

One of the things I love about these challenges is seeing different artists all doing the same subject and seeing it their own way, rendering it in different ways. I'm almost tempted to do that one now.

Paula Ford
04-04-2009, 07:19 PM
Marcia, Very nice piece!! The sheen on the windows is great and I love the color of the building against the grasses! Very nicely done indeed.

04-04-2009, 07:54 PM
Thank-you Paula and Robert. I really am more comfortable doing this kind of stuff. I posted another one over in your landscape challenge, Paula.

04-04-2009, 10:49 PM
Thanks everyone for your fine comments.

Marica, very well done, love the building. you live in a very beautiful area. May i ask you a few things? is Pottsville bleach and dye and van hueson; most likely spelt that wrong, and that lady with her little candy shop a few miles out of town that the appalachian trail passed right alongside of her building, still there or not? she had the best white choclate I have ever had. she would cut into the sheet and I would allways get a few pounds. her penutbutter was also great. she made it right there infront of you. would you please let me know.

Hope I didn't miss anyone.

04-04-2009, 10:59 PM
OK had to do another after trying the valley in the landscape Challenge, I just had to do the valley and hill here. so here it is 9/12 120# carson watercolour paper gesso/pumice on back side. watercolour under painting. not to sure if i like the watercolour under painting i think i like to just use pastels for it. C&C always welcome.


Paula Ford
04-04-2009, 11:44 PM
Very nice Pete!! What was it that you didn't like about the watercolor underpainting?

04-04-2009, 11:53 PM
Hi everyone,

Here's my attempt at a second image in this month's challenge. I enjoyed giving this one a try. The image is 9x12" on Colourfix paper, using Unison, Great American and NuPastel. C&C welcome.


04-05-2009, 09:09 AM
Pete, I think you are referring to Pottsville. I'm from Pottstown about 35-40 miles SE of there. It is very nice there. More hilly than where I'm from although we have some nice places also.Pottsvilles claim to fame...Yuengling beer...Pottstowns . .. Mrs Smith's pies!

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 09:55 AM
Hi John, Really nice piece! I love all that green! The trees and shadows are very nicely handled.

04-05-2009, 10:30 AM
Pete and John, both of you did spectacular paintings that are completely different from each other. Pete, I could not tell that you'd used a watercolor underpainting and can only think your frustration with it had more to do with technique than results. Your landscape is great. I like your rough-textured trees, they have a lot of motion and look like the wind is tossing their branches just from the strokes you used. Also the near ground grasses are wonderful and detailed. You used some atmospheric perspective but it's subtle -- I didn't see it at first and then when I looked for it realized that I ignored it because it's very natural and subtle.

John, yours has tremendous atmospheric perspective and I particularly love the colors you used in the distant hills. Instead of separate distinct bands of distance bluing you have a naturally smooth gradient -- some of it is the way the photo is but you've accentuated it so beautifully that I'm grinning. I like your loose powerful trees and warm foreground.

04-05-2009, 11:26 AM
Thanks for hosting this month's challenge, Paula, and thanks to everyone who commented. I am learning a ton from working on these images.

PETE - Nice building; I like the way you've handled the sky. On your rolling hills image, you've really captured the feel of summer and the resulting lighting.

NANAJ - I like the vertical composition you chose and your treatment of the more distant vegetation and hill.

LESLIE - Great depiction of the topography and use of perspective. It's interesting how different people interpreted the small central 'valley' in the image - a real and flowing stream, a road and a dry stream bed.

SCOTT - Great depiction of the 'monster bug'. I wouldn't count out the ladybug, though - they're pretty formidable aggressors (albeit on much smaller prey) themselves. :)

MARCIA - Wonderful creation of a sense of place and capture of the rundown character of the building. Nice use of color.


04-05-2009, 12:55 PM
Hi Paula, first let me say thanks. now I realy don't know, but I find if your paper is course grain it serves a perpous to fill in the grains, In oils, unless I'm doing a total impressionistic p/a where i may miss a spot here and there it serves a perpous, to paint a acrylic under painting. in a oil wet on wet situation i would just use the oil under pinting, this way i get the colours to blend out of it. now in pastels, that would be kind of the same. even tho pastels are dry paint, they never dry. Now would there be other reasons to paint a water colours underpainting? Please help inlighten me.

Hi John, this is very nice, like the brightness of your piece and your perspective is just wonderful.

Hi again Marcia, sorry about the wrong town you live in. it's been some 20 yrs or better that i have been around that area. my mistake.

Hi Robert, thank you for the very fine comments you have made. and fustrating, i think fits, was never able to do anything in watercolour, and it still seems I can't. I know i should never say can't mybe some day. look i'm doing somthing in pastels now. where a ways back said I couldn't do. will see in time.

04-05-2009, 01:07 PM

Another building pose!

8"x10", Canson Mi-Teintes smooth side.

Thanks for the photos, Paula. I may try another, though not the icky beetle one. Hats off to Scott for his beautiful icky beetle.

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 01:43 PM
Pete, I'm not quite sure what you mean. Would you clarify your question for me? Thank you

Jenny, You're welcome! Very nice piece! I like your perspective and the nice soft colors on the building.

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 01:47 PM
You know what is really strange, I've been bitten by ladybugs before! I'm sure they can hold their own against that ick beetle! :)

04-05-2009, 01:57 PM
Hi Jenny, long time no see. this is very nice. i like it.

Hi Paula, the question is about under painting with watercolour verses pastels. what are the pros and cons with the process.

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 02:07 PM
Well, I don't do much underpainting with watercolors Pete so I can't really say what the pros and cons are with it. I know lots of other artists, like Phil Bates for example, use watercolor underpaintings all the time and really love it.

I really don't do underpaintings because I tone my board/paper now using a method I learned from Deborah Secor by stroking pastel on the surface and rubbbing it in really good with a foam brush and then brushing off as much as possibly can be removed.

There is a fantastic thread about underpaintings here and you will be able to get much more information on the subject...

04-05-2009, 03:08 PM
Marcia Beautiful rustic feeling to the colors you chose.

Pete another nice painting. The hills are very rolling. You say you used a watercolor underpainting did you paint the same color familys as you used in pastel?

John great take on the mountains love the colors you chose, great distance.

Jenny very nice great looking grass.

04-05-2009, 04:05 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm really impressed by the photos and art work on this thread. Thank you Paula!

Here is my go at the charming old building. It' s done on Arches 9x12 rough wc paper, primed with clear pastel ground. So far I've only used Nupastels but plan to follow up with Rembrants and Senneliers.

I have a question...are their any copyright issues I should be aware of in using reference photos from this site?


04-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Thank you Paula, a lot of interesting info there on the subject.

Hi Betsy, thank you. your signature says it better. well maybe sorta. lol I started to but than nothing ended up where i wanted it. so you know what happens when you go over it. Mybe that why i don.'t do watercolours all my paintings end up looking the same. they look brown different shades and values tho. but still brown.

04-05-2009, 05:11 PM
This is the first time I've posted on this thread. I tried the Tennessee landscape with a mixture of pastels on Sennelier paper. It measures about 8x10". The scan seemed to change the colour as the original is more of a gold colour.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Apr-2009/137575-wc_pastelsApril09.jpg

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 06:11 PM
Nahant, Your piece is lovely! Such fresh bright colors, especially the pop of color in the roof. You also nailed the shape of that mountain in the background, even though not much of it was showing. Very nice!

Mumwond, I love it! I love that field and you have definately done it proud!

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 06:31 PM
Well, I've done my preliminary value sketch for photo #1 and am a hit hesitant to start because this landscape is definately a great deal different than the landscapes of the Northeast. So, wish me luck!

Paula Ford
04-05-2009, 10:51 PM
Here's my version of Photo #1. It's almost done. It's funny how you see lots of things that need work when it's on a computer screen. 11"x14" on green Ampersand Pastelbord. C&C please.

This photo was taken tonight under studio lights so the colors are not true to the actual painting. There is no pink in my painting :evil:


Scott J.
04-06-2009, 01:59 AM
Just beautiful, Paula. There does appear to be pink, but it looks fine because the design and values are so well done. I keep tabbing back to it, so I know it's grabbed me....

04-06-2009, 04:25 AM
Wow. Every time I look at this thread there's more richness and beauty -- and more interesting paintings of the same subjects in completely different ways!

Wendy, I hope you did repost your painting of your dad in its own thread in the Studio, it's a great portrait. You really caught the feel of his personality. No wonder your mom grabbed it and framed it before you were done.

Nahant, the roof is blazing in your version of the cool old building. I like the way you both got it that bright and got it that weathered at the same time. Great going. Everyone's doing this one differently. I almost think that I'll have to do it even if I was first thinking of doing a different one.

Mumwond, yours came out sensual and cool. I can visualize it with a light gold where the white is easily, because my scanner does that to light values all the time and sometimes shifts colors way off toward red or toward green -- but not always the same direction. It's very frustrating. I love the field and those purplish rosy patches, it's great. Good sense of depth and a lot of varied textures that please my eye.

Paula... wow. Oh wow. Oh yes those hills are spectacular even if color isn't true under that light. I can visualize those pinks as more golden and it still reads spectacular. I know there's a reason I love your paintings, I see it every time I see one of them. This just draws me right in and makes me feel like I'm there -- and like you painted from life rather than from a photo.

I'm warming up to this so much. I've had a couple of sick days but I know I want to do at least one, maybe two of these. Between Deborah Secor, Donna Aldridge and Charlie, I'm so ready to try out these new things I've learned on cool landscapes!

04-06-2009, 11:28 AM
I don't usually like to paint animals, but I couldn't resist giving this beautiful boy a try. The fur is giving me a hard time. Any suggestions? It's done on recycled Wallis.


Paula Ford
04-06-2009, 11:31 AM
OH!! How gorgeous!!! I can't wait to show my husband! He will absolutely love this. Fantastic job!

04-06-2009, 01:05 PM
Your cat looks great. I might also give him a try. I did the bottles but overall didn't turn out very good. Glass and water for me are very challenging. Never satisfied with the results. No suggestions for the kitty though. Has a very soft, fluffy feeling.

04-06-2009, 02:31 PM
Thank you Paula and Marcia for your comments. The monthly challenges are fun to do and good practice, especiallly when I don't have anything compelling to paint.

What does everyone do with the challenges when finished--save them, throw them away? I already have a pile of pictures that I don't know what to do with.

Paula Ford
04-06-2009, 02:42 PM
Don't throw them away!! Wrap them in glassine or tracing paper so they don't get hurt until you frame them and sell them or give them as gifts.

Scott J.
04-06-2009, 03:49 PM
nanaj - Great cat portrait! He's really got that "I can take you or leave you" look that I love in cats. Really choice....

04-06-2009, 06:58 PM
Nanaj, wow. You captured his fluffy dignity so well. His character, his expression, his identity. He's so clearly Alex rather than any other gray longhair cat. His eyes are compelling and that fluffy foreground (belly?) fur is so thick and rich I feel like I could sink my fingers into it and get my arms shredded. Or get a purr.

Some male cats love a tummy scritch. Others, like Ari, are ticklish and take any touch to the fuzzy tummy as an invitation to play rough. I can't even tell which way Alex would go from the photo, I'd have to know his habits -- very often the slap and grab cats are being loving and playful when they bite and kick but don't qute grasp that I don't have 2" of fur to protect me from all the pointy bits.

So that's some dynamic tension in the photo. Brilliant rendering. I like its looseness. I might have added more detail to the splits and layers in the hair, added some small shadows one step darker, but you don't need to because you have such a wonderful texture going loose like that. Seeing yours is tempting me to go looser next time I do a cat and not overdetail especially as I move away from the focal point.

I'm into cats in a big way, both in life and in painting. They are beautiful, powerful, intelligent, affectionate and real. When a cat loves you, you know you are loved. You know that cat chose to love you. Somewhere I read "it's the tiger you can stroke." That's Alex as you painted him.

In animal painting, cats are my ultimate goal. More than any other animal I want to get cats true to themselves in everything -- motion, character, body language -- and you've taught me something important in cat portraiture someday that I know I'll apply the next time I do a portrait of Ari or Miss Gemini. Thank you.

04-07-2009, 01:32 AM
I just wanted to say that your cat looks almost exactly like my girl Pele. :)

04-07-2009, 03:00 AM

The ick bug is really cool and looks like a male Stag beetle. I think they eat vegetation.

04-07-2009, 06:01 AM
I had a go at 'Alex' with a mixture of pastels on Sennelier pad. I'm not a cat lover (prefer dogs) and everytime I try a cat, it comes out looking sinister! It measures 10 x 8".

04-07-2009, 09:55 AM
Scott and Robert -- I appreciate your positive comments. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to cats, so I have to admire them from afar. I enjoy painting people, but that was my first attempt to paint a cat. I found it fun to do.

Paula Ford
04-07-2009, 10:46 AM
Beth, Your little girl is so sweet!! You can see one of my other kitties in the video I made on my website. Her name is Peanut and is almost 19 years old and still going strong!

Mumwood, :lol: this doesn't look sinister! It's absolutely wonderful! You have captured his personality perfectly!

Paula Ford
04-07-2009, 10:57 AM
Here is my finished version of the first photo. I tried to put much warmer colors in the foreground, but don't know if I really like it. Thanks again Phil for the photo...it's really beautiful!


04-07-2009, 11:57 AM
I need to get a new flashcard, so I'm just viewing today...and what a treat.

I love the variety of texture and color in your cat fur, nanaj...a very pleasing piece.

And mumwand, a very pleasing study as well...for me the eyes really dominate. They are compelling in their slant and gleam. Perhaps they are conveying the "sinister" quality you see. I read it as an interesting "intensity." Good work on both.

Paula, photo#1 is a real challenge to me. I worked on it this weekend and had to step back often lest I get too dizzy to paint. Your painting gave me a better sense of being grounded in those rolling hills, and explained much of what the photo did not convey. It is lovely. I think you've picked up enough of the foreground warmth in the background hills to tie it all together. Am curious to know what was the true color of your "pink."??

Paula Ford
04-07-2009, 12:03 PM
Thank you! The true color is lavendar.

Scott J.
04-07-2009, 12:33 PM

The ick bug is really cool and looks like a male Stag beetle. I think they eat vegetation.

I looked it up, and you're absolutely right. It's an Elephant Stag Beetle. They grow to about two inches long, and feed on leaves and sap. Not ferocious at all.....

04-07-2009, 02:28 PM
Paula, I like how you used so much more color than is shown in the reference photo. I'm afraid if I try that one it will be a green mess.

Shirl Parker
04-07-2009, 03:54 PM
Thank goodness, I was so worried about that Lady Bug.

04-07-2009, 05:42 PM
Beth, your cat's a beauty. Wonderful photo. I love the foot pressed up against the cabinet. Beautiful face too. May I please draw from this photo? Part of the pose is just right for a serious future still life I want to do ... the foot would be pressed up against something obviously fragile that's edging over the top of a hutch or something.

Mumwood, for all that you're a dog lover and your cats turn out sinister, Alex didn't. I do that in reverse and this is a dramatic achievement, it'd be like my managing to draw our husky Zoe without her looking like a deformed cat.

nanaj, it's so sad that you're allergic to cats. I would go out of my mind. I was half crazy during my catless years. Ari has been going over the top in the past few days comforting me when my back went out. He's been so kind, he comes up every time I lay down and purrs at me, he's even washed me as his version of cat chiropracty. It always helps to knock out the fibro symptoms even if it doesn't straighten my back because I'll laugh and lighten up and feel better.

Paula, your finished landscape is gorgeous. I also love that fall colors one in the top post. Got startled by the music on your site, took a while to scroll down far enough to figure out how to turn it off when I wanted to watch your video, your talking over the music was a bit confusing.

I had to download it though. Peanut is way too cool. She looks so contented, woke up to look at you while you were filming and then relax again. Ari is looking at me and being cool.

You have so many pastels. Two of the large Dakota Universal boxes, one of them just for Mount Visions... drool, oh drool. Selling your Yarka ones on ebay? Someone's going to luck. Even with six bids, the price is still spectacular. I hadn't used my Yarka pastels for ages but when I bought my table and started rearranging things, I finally found a good place for the box. More than that, a good place where if I cleared part of the table I could have both trays out.

Once I did that, I discovered the texture was about comparable to Rembrandt and that they're very handy especially for having lots and lots of tints. So your eBay auction is a stupendous bargain for someone, especially if they're short on tints.

I liked all your finished and unfinished paintings. I still love that landscape, it was cool to see it in true size in the video too.

04-07-2009, 08:27 PM
Here's Alex! 9 X 12 Colourfix paper with mostly NuPastels this time.


Paula Ford
04-07-2009, 08:40 PM
Marcia, Now that is one handsome boy you've painted!! Alex will be so proud :)

Robert, Sorry that the music startled you and that you had a hard time listening to my video! Peanut is a really wonderful kitty. You know she plays like a kitten every day still!

Yup, the Yarkas are doing well on Ebay. Somebody is going to get a real bargain! I really like them, but don't have any room :o

04-07-2009, 08:57 PM
Thanks Paula! These challenges have been so much fun. I don't know how I missed them before.

04-08-2009, 09:03 AM

All the photos are so lovely this month - hopefully I will be able to contribute to the thread before the end of the month. I have my eye on the gorgeous photo of Alex and also the glass jars.

I haven't done any art for a good few weeks now and have only just managed to get on to WC to try and play catch up.

My own cat (Ebony), was hit by a car a couple of weeks ago but she is now out of hospital and back with me to continue her recovery. So at the moment I am busy providing TLC, tube feeding, administering eye drops, and helping her to find her way around the house.

Hopefully I will have a little bit of artwork to post next time I visit the thread.


Art Dude
04-08-2009, 09:05 AM
Hi, thought i would try lovely Alex!!
Daler Ingres Pastel Paper 90gms 12" X 9" using Rembrandt Pastels.

Paula Ford
04-08-2009, 10:26 AM
Wonderful, wonderful piece Art Dude!! Alex says he really likes this one!

Paula Ford
04-08-2009, 10:30 AM
Pam, I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. Hopefully she will recover quickly and be just fine!

04-08-2009, 01:39 PM
Marcia, your painting of Alex is so rich and powerful. I love his eyes.

Paula, glad to hear you did like the Yarkas. I'm just discovering how much I like mine now that they're out where I can get at them. I was so frustrated at a lack of tints in my Rembrandts and then when I got that box open -- there they are, all the tints I really needed. You had six bids last I looked, it's going up and up.

Pam, so glad to hear that Ebony is home and recovering. It must be such a relief to have her home even if she needs that much care.

Art Dude, you gave Alex a strong leonine look and I love how you got his ears -- very detailed, precisely accurate ears. Cat ears gave me trouble for years even after I was living with cats, I'm not sure why. I think it's because they're so easy to stylize into a triangle instead of following those precise curves and the interesting little flap on the outside edge. Which you have captured.

Ari is folded neatly in the middle of our waterbed, enjoying the sunpatch. He hasn't noticed I'm looking at cat pictures, if he was awake he'd be purring at all of them -- he likes it when I find cat videos and cat pictures.

Kathryn Wilson
04-08-2009, 03:16 PM
It certainly seems that I've gotten behind on this project. Everyone has been done some pretty amazing stuff, but seeing the photos posted, who can miss?

ummmm ... I've been playing again. Someone asked me to try to do a landscape using my outline method I used on my pear paintings. I figured I'd try it on black paper and see what happens. This is purely play - about an hour. (snicker, and I did use some black just for the heck of it)

My monitor needs calibrating - things are coming up pretty dark and contrasty. Not sure what you will be seeing.

ooops, forgot the important stuff - this is on Somerset Black Velvet which is a printmaker's paper that has great tooth. 10 x 15 Mount Vision and hard pastels


04-08-2009, 03:27 PM
Everyone's work is so lovely....love all the kitties. And Paula's mountains. I tried the nmountains, as well, but with no t much success, I'm afraid. I use my laptop downstairs where i paint, and the colors are distorted. so when I come up to scan to my desktop, it looks much different!
I may try to redo it...but here's my first attempt...
the trees arent at all what I was trying to achieve, either.....oh darn.
well, maybe better luck next time....

Art Dude
04-08-2009, 05:10 PM
Thank you Paula--i tried hard to capture that wise expression-alex is really lovely.
Robertsloan2--i really appreciate your comments--i can tell you LOVE cats!
Sadly, my cat passed away on Dec 30th--he was 20yrs old and beginning to fail--he slept away peacefully.He was truly a wonderful cat and always managed to be Boss with my dogs over the years--my Greyhound was especially fond of him, they slept together and understood each other. Here's a pic

04-08-2009, 05:30 PM
wow, Art Dude... He looked just like the black cat we had for the 18 years of his life. He loved each dog we had during his lifetime, and took to walking with us when I would walk the sheltie. He continued to walk with me, after the sheltie's death, and died very suddenly about 3 years ago. I miss him terriblly even now...There'll never be another like him!

04-08-2009, 05:47 PM
Kathryn, your landscape is so dramatic and lovely. I like the contrasty look. It's blazing off the screen and makes me smile. Sometimes that can be a good thing. It's almost Art Nouveau looking and has so many associations with cool things that I can't begin to list them. That rocks.

Judibelle -- wonderful mountains. You're not doing as bad as you think you are. Try going for more contrast in the foreground, stronger colors as well as warmer ones. The distant ones are great but if you punch up the foreground some they'll look even better. The feel of it is nice, misty mountains, make me think of hobbits roaming them.

Art Dude, so sad that your cat passed away. He was gorgeous. Such a big take-charge looking cat. Great photos you posted. Ari sleeps like that, the coiled mass of rumpled fur look is so cool. His greyhound friend looks so contented relaxing with him.

Ari will curl up in my stomach sometimes the same way, it's always great when he does. Yep. I love cats. He's only nine so hopefully we'll have many many years together even if the vet was considering putting him on a Senior Diet. He shares food with two year old Gemini though, so they both just eat Adult Diet. But the vet also said at his last exam that he has the teeth of a two year old, he's in really great shape.

Paula Ford
04-08-2009, 06:11 PM
Kat, your painting is gorgeous!! I love the contrast....it's quite the vision you have. Beautiful work!

JB, You've done a great job! You have achieved a lovely, soft landscape with harmonious colors which are very soothing. No need to be so hard on yourself. You should be proud of all of your pieces!

04-08-2009, 06:23 PM
Thanks, Robert....you always come up with such good advice! And Paula, thanks for soothing my frustrated 'feathers'...It is such a beautiful scene... I would love to do justice to it....

04-08-2009, 11:47 PM
Robert - Sure, you can use that photo of Pele :)

04-09-2009, 01:44 AM
I gave it a go.. that golden field caught my eye first... There r some beautiful paintings here!!! I am not finished.. it looks a bit of a mess...AM enjoying these great photos & paintings so much:thumbsup: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Apr-2009/76639-goldfield.jpg

Paula Ford
04-09-2009, 08:48 AM
Art Dude, The pictures of your kitty and his pal are wonderful! I'm sorry for your loss, but I can just imagine you gave him a wonderful life.

T, Really nice!! Love the looseness and the hills showing in the background.

That brings up a question...there is a purple hill and a blue hill farther away. Elizabeth Mowry does the opposite. She puts the purple in the far distance. That is not to say yours is not correct T...just stimulating some conversation here.

Anybody want to talk about this? I'd love to hear your opinions.

:lol: I have put the purple in the far background before just because she did it, but now that I think about it, purple, because it has a bit of red in it, is a warmer color and should be closer. What do you guys think?

Kathryn Wilson
04-09-2009, 09:06 AM
I have put the purple in the far background before just because she did it, but now that I think about it, purple, because it has a bit of red in it, is a warmer color and should be closer. What do you guys think?

I think you are correct - because of the red properties of purple, it is a warmer color and will come forward in the painting; but I wonder if the overall palette of the painting is reds and purples, that it would be okay to paint a distant hill or mountain a light, hazy, grey-ish purple.

Paula Ford
04-09-2009, 09:14 AM
Hmmm, good point Kat. I wonder....

04-09-2009, 11:20 AM
Well, I think the blue I used LOOKS warmer here, perhaps bcuz it is less gryed down..?? Interesting... I may do a referce on those hills just to see ... If & when I get back to it:)

Kathryn Wilson
04-09-2009, 12:12 PM
T - I read that blue hill in the distance as a cool blue. ???

Scott J.
04-09-2009, 12:49 PM
The farther hill appears a bit lighter in value than the nearer, regardless of its color, and that seems to distance it. Also, the blue shade is akin to the color of the sky, which also pushes it back, at least to my eye.

All analysis aside, it just looks right. Nice pastel, T.

04-09-2009, 01:46 PM

I love it! Great movement, looseness with a strong underlying drawing, and vibrant color. The lighter value of the blue mountain puts it in the distance for me. Very nice!

04-09-2009, 04:40 PM

After seeing Maw-T's painting, I hate to throw this one into the mix, but here it is.

The gold area is much lighter, but I can't figure out how to make the adjustments without throwing everything else farther off.

Paula, thanks for the photos. Great selection!

Deborah Secor
04-09-2009, 09:30 PM
Whoo hooooooo! LOVE it, Kat!!! Yum. It's so YOU! I see some nice stuff here everyone, but just had to do a standing O for this one.... :clap: :clap:


Kathryn Wilson
04-09-2009, 09:34 PM
Thanks Deborah - I'm really liking this on the easel too. My one concern is the blue/green triangle at the top. I wanted it pushed back, but here it doesn't look it. Any advice on a color?

04-09-2009, 09:46 PM
Beth, thank you so much! Pele is such a pretty girl. She's exactly Paynes Grey in all its shades and so silky looking. She looks like such a sweetheart.

T, your landscape is great even at this loose stage. You captured so much variation and your strokes are lots of fun. I love the wild loose feel it has.

I think the local temperature of the vegetation sometimes affects whether a distant hill or mountain looks purplish or bluish or blue-green. I've seen both at different times and places or in photos. Maybe sometimes there's a mist in the way or some other atmospheric phenomenon doing it. I would tend to go bluer as it gets farther away if I were making it up because purple does have a bit of red to it -- unless I'm going from greener to a violet-blue which can sometimes happen in the way far distance.

I got so used to blue-violet distant mountains that when I saw blue-green ones covered with trees it blew me away.

Jenny, it looks like a good start there. I like the shadows on the clouds and the way you sculpted the trees, that's beautiful. Maybe scumbling a few vertical strokes into the meadow would help texture it some -- it's looking good, don't feel bad because it doesn't look like someone else's. I think you're doing great with it.

04-10-2009, 09:39 PM
Not too many of this challenge been done yet so I thought I'd give it a try. Not too sure if I like it or not. The blue distant mountain is showing a brighter blue than in rl. I think I like the clouds even though they are darker than the ref picture. I don't know...maybe I'm not done yet.


04-10-2009, 10:39 PM
So many wonderful paintings! I would like to join the fun but, my submissions might be past April because of exams. Is this ok?

Scott: Your lady bug's eyes look like they are "bugging" out lol. Am I just seeing things? Excellent painting, if i may ask, did you use any pastel pencils on this? So far, all i have in my new arsenal is the panpastels and am wondering how I am going to acheive detail. But, I look forward to experimenting ;).

Everyones landscapes have so much depth and beautiful color! :thumbsup:


04-10-2009, 10:46 PM
Marcia, that is beautiful! Thanks for mentioning that about the photo. Distortion happens in all scans and photos it seems. Wonderful rendering and I especially like those clouds and their motion!

Stephanie -- check the "Having a Ball with Pan Pastels" thread. I tried using the corner of a wedge sponge to do the details on my cat painting and it worked great. I got as much detail as I would've with the pastel pencils I was tempted to use.

Scott J.
04-11-2009, 12:51 AM
Hi Stephanie, thanks for your kind comment!

I had no pastel pencils with me when I did the bug painting, so I used the corners and edges of Nupastels for the finer details. I usually use whatever is closest; I'm anything but systematic. Have fun with those pan pastels, and please post your stuff!

Paula Ford
04-11-2009, 01:57 AM
Great piece Marcia!! Love those bright colors!

Art Dude
04-11-2009, 09:50 AM
Hi, here is my Tennessee landscape--or at least my version of it!!!!
Daler Ingres paper 12" X 9" using Rembrandt pastels.

Donna T
04-11-2009, 10:53 AM
Wow! I haven't checked on this thread for a few days and I'm so impressed by the work I see here! I'm very inspired just seeing all the different ways the scenes have been interpreted -and the Alex paintings are all precious.

Paula, back to your purple vs. blue mountain question - I usually do blue for the distant hills because that's the way they appear here. At this time of year when the trees are budding it's a lot easier to see those purpley reds in the closer hills. We have so much haze and humidity in the summer that sometimes it's a stretch to see blue - the colors just seem to fade to a generic haze color, whatever that is!


Paula Ford
04-11-2009, 12:41 PM
Art Dude, I love the aqua greens with the peaches in this piece!! That's what artistic license is about!!

04-11-2009, 01:18 PM
Paula & Robert thank-you for your comments.

04-11-2009, 02:02 PM
Nahant I like the orange sky with the blue roof pops a bit.

mumwond the field looks great and the mountains receding behind each other are done well. the cat looks great!

nanja very nice cat you should paint more animals. great background.

Paula love the finish of the mountains. I like it warmer in the front, gives interest. Great painting!!

Marcia great cat love the ears feel like i can see through them.

Artdude grat cat too looks like he has an attitude.

Kathryn woow it pops!!! looks awesome and simple at the same time!!

JB I agree its a good start. robert has good advise to bring it up a notch if you want too.

Maw its beautiful and paintery!! simple strokes dynamic colors

jenny love the clouds. your mountains recede, good job.

Marcia another! your pines in the middle are great! quick paintery strokes great colors!

artdude great painting it has a stylized feel to it!

04-11-2009, 02:04 PM
Here I am.
well i don't think im finished yet but im going to put this up and let it sit for a few days.

10.5x13.5 on rose grey colorfix primer
any C&C's welcome!
the hills to the back IRL are a little softer they don't pop as much.


Paula Ford
04-11-2009, 02:09 PM
I love those colorful hills Betsy...just beautiful!

04-11-2009, 03:09 PM

Absolutely beautiful!!


Kathryn Wilson
04-11-2009, 03:12 PM
Art Dude, I am enjoying your stylized painting. Those clouds and trees are great!

Betsy - thumbs up! great job!

04-11-2009, 03:44 PM
Art Dude, The pictures of your kitty and his pal are wonderful! I'm sorry for your loss, but I can just imagine you gave him a wonderful life.

T, Really nice!! Love the looseness and the hills showing in the background.

That brings up a question...there is a purple hill and a blue hill farther away. Elizabeth Mowry does the opposite. She puts the purple in the far distance. That is not to say yours is not correct T...just stimulating some conversation here.

Anybody want to talk about this? I'd love to hear your opinions.

:lol: I have put the purple in the far background before just because she did it, but now that I think about it, purple, because it has a bit of red in it, is a warmer color and should be closer. What do you guys think?

Personally, I would say pure blue is the coolest (opposite of orange, which is warmest), but warm and cool are not usually considered "exact" properties. It is very much a personal feeling. This is why some artists consider greenish-blues to be warmer than violet-blues and some say the exact opposite. Many others consider red and/or green to be neutral, others easily place red as warm and green as cool. So for some, purple may be cooler than blue and for others, the opposite. Personally, l would also say purple is warmer than blue. Looking at a few examples from art books by Paul Strisik and Emile Gruppe, I notice that they have a few paintings with more purplish mountains in front of the more distant blue, but I wouldn't say for sure that they haven't also done the opposite.

I think, since we are creating works of art and not just "scientific" representations of reality, we can use either blue or purple to represent the furthest distant mountains, as long as there is a consistent color scheme in our painting and the value lightens and has a decreased range the more distant one gets.


04-11-2009, 03:49 PM

Love the vibrancy of your colors. Wonderful painting!


04-11-2009, 08:39 PM
Betsy, I really like the colors of yours and its total vibrance. It is spectacular. You show the distance so well and captured everything with your own special style. I've always liked your landscapes.

Art Dude, your version of the Tennessee landscape is great. You have a lot of character in that sky, I love the motion in it and the texture of the vegetation and trees is awesome. It's unified and has a great balance between sky and land.

I'm inspired by so many wonderful paintings in this month's Strokes. I'm going to have to get out my Pans and at least try to do my own version of Alex sometime this month.

04-11-2009, 09:19 PM
Betsy, I think you've captured the roundness of those hills better than anyone so far. And there has been some excellent paintings of that challenge. Beautifully done!

04-12-2009, 09:27 AM
Paula thanks I had a good time doing this its been awhile since I have done a challange

Don thank you!

Kathryn :) thanks!

Joyce thank you i do like bright colors

Robert thank you! I think im finally getting better at them

Picksbug thank you:o i think that was the biggest challange with this photo.

04-12-2009, 04:02 PM
Haven't seen the blue bottles yet, or did I miss them? I can see why some have avoided them as I am not too happy with my attempt. I need to get more variety in the 3 bottles, since all three look the same to me.


04-12-2009, 04:14 PM
this is a great painting! luminous!

Paula Ford
04-12-2009, 05:56 PM
nanaj...REALLY Beautiful painting. It's so painterly and soft. It is really lovely!

04-12-2009, 06:48 PM
Nanaj, your bottles look really good. I painted them but too many things wrong that I wasn't brave enough to share. But I think you did a really good job.

Kathryn Wilson
04-12-2009, 06:53 PM
NanaJ - you did a good job on a difficult subject. The different heights of the bottles make them enough different, don't you think?

Art Dude
04-12-2009, 07:10 PM
Paula--Thank you! I wasn't sure about doing a landscape with pastels but i really enjoyed it and the encouragement here certainly makes me want to keep going.
Betsy--Thank you--i absolutely love your rolling hills and can't believe how wonderful the colours look-especially the highlights.
Kathryn--Thank you--i think style is something i really need to work on!! I have a bad habit of loosing my way in the details!
Robert--Thank you again!--i tried hard with this one as it is a first landscape in pastel----i've so much to learn!
nanaj--very nice glassware!

Kathryn Wilson
04-12-2009, 07:14 PM
Art Dude - don't worry about "style" - it will come all on it's own, and just when you don't expect it.

04-12-2009, 08:20 PM
Thanks to all for the positive comments on the "glassware". Glass and water are to me subjects I like to avoid, but thought I needed to stretch a bit.

04-13-2009, 02:07 AM
Wow, everyone! I hadn't checked in on this thread for awhile and the great paintings continue to pile up. I was going to attempt an individual comment on everyone's work since the last time I posted, but my head is spinning. A few that did stick in my mind...

The Cat People - I'm mainly a dog person, but enjoy all animals, and it was fun seeing everyone's take on our new celebrity cat. Years ago, we had a gray cat that looked very much like this month's model.

Paula - I love the way your hills are turning out in several paintings.

Kat - excellent original take and style on that reference.

Betsy - great colors!

Nanaj- congratulations on taking on the glassware and good job. At this very early stage in my 'career' I start getting a nervous tick thinking about painting anything transparent.

Great job everyone!


04-13-2009, 12:43 PM
Hi Guys

I finished playing with the mountains...hopefully i made it better:)

artdude and John thanks:)
so here it is for better or worse
I added a field in, played with the closest trees(looks better closeup), and added some colors here and there to tie it together. any C&C's welcome
this photo was taking during daylight hours, so it has a bit more pop under the lights.:eek:


Paula Ford
04-13-2009, 02:59 PM
Ok, here's #2 - Tennessee Field. I went a little crazy with the colors, but it was a lot of fun! Also, don't laugh at my sky...am very sky challenged :lol:
This picture was taken under studio lights, so the piece is more blue than this IRL.
11"x14" on Ampersand Pastelbord. C&C Always welcome!!


Paula Ford
04-13-2009, 03:00 PM
Really beautiful Betsy!! I love those oranges on the tops of the hills. It just sets this piece on fire with warm sunshine!!

Paula Ford
04-13-2009, 09:03 PM
Unless I hear from somebody soon, I'm scrubbing out that sky!! :lol:

04-13-2009, 11:02 PM
Hi Paula,

This is really nice, and you are not sky challenged at all - your skies are always well done! I do have a question, though - my impression when I see this is that the cloud colors are kind of backwards. I expect the more reddish purple colors to be on the clouds that are closer to the horizon, and the closer, higher clouds to be more white. On the other hand, the shape, values and soft edges are excellent!


Kathryn Wilson
04-13-2009, 11:10 PM
What's wrong with the sky? I think the cloud shapes might be too much the same, but that's all I can see. I wonder if you'd be happier with it, if the darker clouds were taken out - cover up the upper half and see what you think. Either way, it is a nice painting.

Paula Ford
04-13-2009, 11:43 PM
Too late! The clouds are gone :lol:

Thanks anyway Don, Kat!

Kathryn Wilson
04-13-2009, 11:49 PM
well, you can always put them back in!

04-14-2009, 08:28 AM
Ah Paula! I didn't mind the clouds at all! I like the closer ones they add drama! well you could always put them back in....;D i think maybe the further ones at horizon were too regular and solid looking if you had a bit of sky in them....
anyways love what you did with the furter trees purple-green-purple -green....
pulls your eye right back, then slides right over the the purple mountain and back again. very nice. this will sell!!

Paula Ford
04-14-2009, 12:19 PM
Here it is...without clouds :D I'm much happier about it now. Except now I can see there is a "Y" right in the middle of the focal trees. Easy fix.


Kathryn Wilson
04-14-2009, 12:23 PM
Yes, I do like this much better! It took me a long time to figure out clouds, so don't feel bad - it will come with some practice. I use a colorshaper for my clouds these days and it really has helped quite a bit.

Paula Ford
04-14-2009, 12:26 PM
Thanks Kat! Good idea about the color shapers. I need to use them more often. They are good tools.

04-14-2009, 01:46 PM
When you took the clouds out you changed the whole feel of the painting. It kinda had a feeling of a storm coming now it looks like a peaceful, calm day. I like this version better.

04-14-2009, 02:22 PM
I like this version better too. I think the clouds might have been fighting for attention in the earlier version. I didn't notice the "y" until you pointed it out.

04-14-2009, 04:09 PM
Well I did a little more work on this. I know it isn't very good but I thought I'd post it anyway. There are some things I like about it. I think the tops of the jars are ok the rest of it so-so.


Paula Ford
04-14-2009, 05:09 PM
Don't underestimate yourself Marcia! This is wonderful! I just can't get over how you make glass look like glass. Really cool!!

04-14-2009, 05:36 PM
Thanks Paula. The more I look at it the more I see that needs fixin'. I think it's one of those pieces that you put away for awhile then bring it out with fresh eyes.

04-15-2009, 11:10 AM
Marcia this is great love love the ball!

04-15-2009, 01:17 PM
I've been away for a few days and glad to return to this amazing thread.

Marcia, I'll call yours "Alex the Great"...he looks so strong and confident. Good work! I also like your glasswork...especially the translucent feeling of the glass.
ArtDude, I like your Alex also, strong, independent and nicely rendered.
Kathryn, "WOW!" says it all. I love the colors, the composition...simplified and strong. Also your choice of paper. Thanks for the info.
Judibelle, I love the softness of your hills...they gently roll and are so colorful and lovely. This piece was a challenge for me also and i really like your fresh approach. I hope to get mine posted today, but need to unpack and work a little on it first.
Bye for now.....

04-15-2009, 08:00 PM
Well here are my hills...very different for me. I finally feel I can settle into them. Nupastel and Sennelier on 9x12" Arches WC paper with Colorfix pastel ground. Would appreciate suggestions for improvement, but right now I'm at peace with them.

04-19-2009, 08:53 PM

Another hills one for the collection. Colors are a little off but close enough. I'm still focused on the mechanics of using pastels, and the Pastel Strokes is giving me lots of practice material. Thanks!

04-20-2009, 12:57 PM
Oh just noticed more posts here!

Nahant I like the blues and greens you used here it changes the whole feel of it. I think it has a great movement in it.

Jenny nice practice! you have the mechs going pretty well here. softened lightened background mountains, warms up front. good going!

04-20-2009, 05:08 PM
Wow! Guys, the paintings are awsome!

I'm playing a bit with the green hills, but am still at the underpainting stage, so I'll join you later.


Paula Ford
04-20-2009, 05:29 PM
Nahant, Jenny, both pieces are just beautiful!!

04-20-2009, 06:22 PM
Wow...loving all these renditions....
Jenny...love the sublety of your hills...just beautiful!
Nahant...love the colors and softness of yours. Really nice.
Picksbug and Paula...missed yours but both very nice....loved the clouds, Paula, but the blue sky is great too...
Didnt have a chance to do any art last week....hope to catch up this week...but the week is already filling up with other stuff....sigh...

04-22-2009, 01:58 PM
Too many wonderful paintings to comment individually, but I will say that the quality of the collection is very high!

Until now... :D I'm posting in the spirit of. It didn't turn out as I wanted it too, only halfway so.

Colourfix Au Grey, size A4 (about 12x8")

I played with the green hills, making them less green, and tried to move stuff around a bit (my project for this year, to shift things to positions I think will work better).

Paula, a demo on how to do your beautiful grasses would be *much* appreciated!



Paula Ford
04-22-2009, 04:41 PM
Hi Charlie! Love the colors...as always, and I also love what you did with the composition of the piece.

I will definately work on demos next month!

04-22-2009, 04:55 PM
Thank you Paula! I tried to make the river (I assume there is water down there, behind trees) into a flowing curve, and also the lighted hills to the left to be a curve. Sort of zooming in on the action, cropping off all the rest. It kind of works as an abstract at a distance. Got too pale and misty in the bg, though, all by itself, I had nothing do do with it.... ;-)

Grass demo would be lovely, if you get the time to do one. I know you did one about 2 years ago, but you've grown as an artist since!

Thank you for hosting this months Strokes!


Paula Ford
04-22-2009, 04:58 PM
Thank you...and you are very welcome! It is my pleasure to host these wonderful learning threads!

Donna T
04-23-2009, 12:17 PM
Too many wonderful paintings to comment individually, but I will say that the quality of the collection is very high!

Wow, I totally agree! I just spent the last few minutes catching up on all the work posted here. What impresses me the most is the individuality of each painting - no two look the same!

I'll be looking for that demo too, Paula, when you have time to do one. :)


04-24-2009, 02:51 PM
Hi, all. I have just arrived here and discovered the monthly challenge a little late in the day.

Have had a v. quick scan of a few pages to see what was going on and there are so many wonderful works here.

Pastels are a bit of a new departure for me so technique is non-existent but I find them very satisfying. I have a big old box of fairly cheap colours and this was done on an A3 Ingres pad.

I felt the poor old bug was a bit neglected so here he is.


Donna T
04-24-2009, 04:02 PM
Hi Scotyel and it's good to see your version of what we've been calling the ick bug! You did a really nice job on him, especially since you haven't had your pastels out for a while. I hope we'll be seeing more from you (not necessarily bugs, though :D )


04-24-2009, 04:19 PM
Pam, that's a *huge* icky creepie crawlie! Welcome to the dusty side of WC! Your technique looks totally great, and I second Donna: hope to be seeing more from you in pastels!


04-24-2009, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome, folks. I will certainly be trying a few more of our challenges, time permitting.

Paula Ford
04-27-2009, 09:35 PM
Pam, I LOVE your "ick" bug!!

Paula Ford
04-30-2009, 11:53 PM
Thank you so much to all of you for making this month's Pastel Strokes Thread absolutely fabulous!!

All the pieces were just outstanding!!