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Paula Ford
07-01-2010, 01:22 AM
Hello Artists and welcome to the July Spotlight! :wave:

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

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

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

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, “no-pressure” atmosphere. And no critiques unless specifically asked for. The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month are all taken by me, Charlie (Colorfix), and Don (DAK723). You have our permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos, similar to the photos in the Reference Image Library, still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month the Spotlight is on Landscapes with Summer Trees!

I can just hear all of you yelling at me now :lol:

Painting trees takes lots of observation, patience, and time. Identifying the structure of trees is extremely important to be able to paint trees, so I suggest purchasing a book on different types of trees so you can learn about different types of trees, their identifying characters, their colors, what their bark looks like, the shapes of their leaves, and so on.

I also suggest sketching a tree every day, and also studying how other artists paint trees. Here is a short list of artists' websites that I often visit when I want to see how they paint trees.

Albert Handell (http://www.alberthandell.com/), Amanda.Houston (http://amandahouston.com/a.asp?page=home), Bob Robm (http://www.bobrohm.com/), Cindy House (http://www.cindyhouse.com/index.php), Joe Mancuso (http://www.mancusofineart.com/), Marc Hanson (http://marchansonart.com/), Phil Bates (http://www.prbates.com/prbates.com/Home.html), Renato Muccillo (http://renatomuccillo.com/home.html), Scott.Christensen (http://www.christensenstudio.com/Artist.asp?ArtistID=15825&Akey=TVKNT9F5), Susan Ogilvie (http://susanogilvie.com/), Terri.Ford (http://www.terrifordart.com/Paintings.html)

and another wonderful resource is our own Deborah Secor's Chapter Twelve on Foliage http://landscapesinpastel.blogspot.com/2010/04/chapter-twelve-foliage.html (http://landscapesinpastel.blogspot.com/2010/04/chapter-twelve-foliage.html)

So, let's all paint lots of trees this month. Have fun!!

Photo #1 and 2 are both taken by Charlie and are from her beautiful country of Sweden.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/1978-charlie_1.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/1978-charlie_2.jpg

Photos 3 and 4 were taken by Don in Upstate New York.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/1978-Don_1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/1978-Don_2.jpg

and the last two photos were taken by me and are of some Tennessee trees.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/1978-Paula_1.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Jun-2010/1978-Paula_2.JPG

Dougwas
07-01-2010, 01:51 AM
Thanks for hosting this month, Paula. Trees? I don't run away from them any more. It took me a long, long, long time, but after your demo, things became clearer. I think that might be a good link for anyone having problems painting trees. Anyway, thanks again. I will be tackling a couple of these photos, but it won't be until next week.


Doug

Ruthie57
07-01-2010, 03:46 AM
Hi Paula. Thanks for hosting again. Trees? Yep I need to improve on them for sure. Will look later and decide which picture to start with.

Colorix
07-01-2010, 04:47 AM
Thank you for hosting, Paula! This will be such a wonderful month! We'll all learn to do trees! Great opportunity to exercise them greens, too :-)

Paula, if you paint any of these, showing the steps (yes, again) would be invaluable.

I love your Tennessee trees and landscapes; they're so beautiful, with lots of atmosphere.

Don, lovely pix, they look like it is cooler up there (just an illusion, summers are hot).


Charlie

Devonlass
07-01-2010, 08:05 AM
Thanks Paula. I like number 6 a lot, so I'm hoping to get to that one some time this month. I also like the first one, but the green hedge in the middle is scaring me off,

Mary Y
07-01-2010, 08:27 AM
Paula,
Thank you for hosting this thread and also Charlie and Don for the great reference Pictures.
I would really like to improve my trees so this should be a very good place to start,especially followings Charlie's very informative thread on greens.

DAK723
07-01-2010, 08:32 AM
Paula,

Great theme this month! And lovely photos, too, by you and Charlie! And for newcomers looking for links to artists that paint the most wonderful trees, there is one artist Paula forgot to mention...and that would be Paula herself! Check out any of her paintings and her website for inspiration!

Don

Paula Ford
07-01-2010, 09:21 AM
You are so welcome, you guys!!

Charlie, Thank you so much for last month's Spotlight! It was a wonderful thread and everybody learned so much!!

I will be doing a very extensive demo of one of these photos that I'll put in this thread, so stay tuned.

Don, You're making me blush...thank you so much kind sir!!!

Greenbrier33
07-01-2010, 10:22 AM
Paula,

Thank you for hosting the July challenge. Your photos are spectacular, showcasing the natural beauty found all over TN. I'll try the last one -- field with the trees. The light in this photo is great. I see that same purple flower from the foreground in my own area. Believe it's called "Joe Pye Weed".

Thanks again and looking forward to everyone's work! :cool:

Dave

chuas2
07-01-2010, 10:30 AM
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

robertsloan2
07-01-2010, 12:25 PM
Thanks for hosting this month, Paula! What a wonderful challenge. I love landscapes, love trees and am so glad to continue with all the greens!

SunFace
07-01-2010, 03:54 PM
Thanks for posting Paula!

The photos are beautiful, but I am terrified ... I am so bad with trees!!!!:crying:

Ruthie57
07-01-2010, 04:22 PM
Maria. If you're bad with trees and WANT to get better watch this thread and do some of the refs. Post them and you will get advice/encouragement/praise. But it's your choice whether to post them or not! Do them anyway and learn! Do not be terrified!

SunFace
07-01-2010, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Ruth!

chuas2
07-01-2010, 05:09 PM
Maria, I am SO there with you! I'm torn between doing some very awkward trees, or blowing off this month's spotlight (out of cowardice).

Paula, can I do a bonsai? Less scary! :lol:
Chuas

SunFace
07-01-2010, 05:30 PM
Maria, I am SO there with you! I'm torn between doing some very awkward trees, or blowing off this month's spotlight (out of cowardice).

Paula, can I do a bonsai? Less scary! :lol:
Chuas

I agree I can try a bonsai too! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Nansketch
07-01-2010, 06:55 PM
I'm right with the 'timid tree people' -- I'd sworn off landscapes because they really frustrate me. So, I promise to do at least one, who knows maybe it will be better this time.
Nancy

chuas2
07-01-2010, 07:14 PM
Ok, maybe I'll try one too. I'll just crop one of the photos so it's just one tree (and a distant one). How 'bout it Maria?
Chuas :confused: :o

Paula Ford
07-01-2010, 08:31 PM
No bonsais!! :evil: :lol:

ArbySD
07-01-2010, 10:21 PM
No bonsais? Bummer!

Until May's spotlight, I don't think I'd attempted to paint trees. I can see a lot of different colors in that last photo, so I think that's where I am going to start.

Mary Y
07-01-2010, 10:58 PM
I suspect the bonsai might be just as hard for me as an normal tree.
Have a look at Debora's Landscape Painting Book this week .
Looking forward to your WIP Paula.I will be looking through the thirty in thirty thread for help.

Greenbrier33
07-02-2010, 02:31 AM
OK friends - I'll jump in first. I am headed to U.S. for 3 weeks of leave in July; so there is limited time to paint this month. I tried the last photo Paula uploaded -- a stunning view that may be too deserving for my amateur hand.

As usual from here in Iraq, working with limited tools in the couple hours of free time at night. Have a 30 - color Blick set applied on ColourFix of slightly bluish tone. C&C always welcome.

I will be able to check the site from home and can't wait to see all the beautiful paintings for this month!

Dave :)

Final:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jul-2010/227425-TN_Field_Upload.jpg

Underpainting:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jul-2010/227425-Underpainting.JPG

Greenbrier33
07-02-2010, 04:04 AM
And here is the pic with a frame was thinking about ordering. Is the frame too much? It is double mat (olive color) with an acrylic covering.

Hardly museum-grade, I know, but it's amateur work.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jul-2010/227425-36470_134440689919069_100000594163659_263932_3036581_n.jpg

chuas2
07-02-2010, 10:24 AM
David, BEAUTIFUL painting! Wow!! And with limited palette. I'll leave it to the landscapers to critique but I love this painting! Don't underestimate your abilities guy (although that seems to be the MO around here).

The frame may be a little heavy for the painting, which is so ethereal. But then my personal preference for narrow frames is probably getting in the way. :) Just make sure the mats are heavy enough to distance the painting from the cover, especially if it's acrylic, which can build up static.
Chuas

Judibelle
07-02-2010, 10:44 AM
Hi David....I agree with Chuas...Beautiful painting! And I also agree that the frame is a bit too heavy for the painting. Maybe a larger, or different color mat would help....
Anyway...It looks great.
Judi

Mary Y
07-02-2010, 10:48 AM
David,
Lovely painting.I really like how you have painted the sunlight in the trees, especially the main one.
I can't give you any help on the frame,my preference is also for narrow frames. Have a safe trip home and enjoy your leave.
Mary

Paula Ford
07-02-2010, 10:52 AM
You sure know how to handle a limited palette David! It really is a lovely piece! Don't be so hard on yourself!

I don't use mats, so am not sure how I would frame this with them... sorry.

Paula Ford
07-02-2010, 10:54 AM
By the way, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! Thank God for our servicemen and women. You are the reason we are free! Thank you so much!!!

P.S. Have a wonderful time on leave and be sure to pick up lots of pastel goodies!!!

Devonlass
07-02-2010, 11:05 AM
Great picture. I want to do this one too.

I personally like the frame, but I would lose the mat and use spacers. I use pleine air frames like these all the time, but never with a mat.

Greenbrier33
07-02-2010, 11:50 AM
Ladies, and Chuas, thanks sincerely for the comments. Appreciated. You all have a nice, safe 4th!

Quick ignorant question and then I'll stop hogging the thread: Where can I buy spacers? From any particular website to have shipped? :confused:

I looked at PictureFrames.com and could not find anything called a "spacer". I am not big on mats, either, and will take it out if I can find spacers. I'm also hearing you on the size -- believe I will look at thinner option, maybe order both...just to see in person how it feels.

Dave

chuas2
07-02-2010, 12:10 PM
Artspacers.com. They're cut to any size, although they're flexible and if you have sharp shears, you can cut them yourself too.
Chuas

Devonlass
07-02-2010, 01:49 PM
I get my spacers (Econospace) from United Manufacturers Supplies, Inc but I think others use Frametek Inc.

robertsloan2
07-02-2010, 02:02 PM
David, the painting is lovely. It doesn't look amateurish at all to me. Much as I usually love heavy ornate frames, the frame does look a bit large for it and you might do better with a wider mat and narrower frame, but not too narrow. Still, framing is a personal choice. Framing is about how it looks in your home too, it's what bridges into your decor.

I'd have probably gone for a fancier one with baroque stuff on it, or settled for something simpler on cost, but that's me. I think the painting can carry it. The olive mat is a good choice.

I love the scumbled texture on the sky and the shimmering colors. It's gorgeous. So cool to see someone using the Blick pastels, I liked the sample I got and have been thinking of getting some -- this cinches it, they're good pastels. Well done!

Your paper color is probably Blue Haze, one that I like a lot.

I'm not scared of trees because I've been spending the past two years doing tree studies whenever I drift back into pastels. So I'll probably be overconfident instead and jump right in to mess up a piece of good paper.

Nansketch
07-02-2010, 02:38 PM
David, I really like this, especailly how you've handled the light in the middle-ground and tree shadow, very effective.

Safe trip home!
Nancy

Paula Ford
07-02-2010, 02:57 PM
Frametek has great prices on econospace.
http://www.frametek.com/index.html

SunFace
07-02-2010, 07:07 PM
Ok, maybe I'll try one too. I'll just crop one of the photos so it's just one tree (and a distant one). How 'bout it Maria?
Chuas :confused: :o

Ok, You have convinced me! :lol: I will give one f the pictures a try!

SunFace
07-02-2010, 07:10 PM
By the way, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! Thank God for our servicemen and women. You are the reason we are free! Thank you so much!!!

P.S. Have a wonderful time on leave and be sure to pick up lots of pastel goodies!!!

And DITTO!

BTW No wonder why you were so brave to post the first painting which is beautiful! :clap: Have a great time back home, and hope you fill with art supplies! :lol: :lol: :lol:

DAK723
07-02-2010, 08:45 PM
Dave,

Absolutely fantastic painting! You've handled the light and the atmosphere perfectly!

Don

tuscanni
07-02-2010, 11:55 PM
sooo...I decide to start doing some fine art after not doing any oil paintings for 20 years. I think I am smart, hey, I wanna try something different and thought that I would try pastels. So, I buy myself some conte pastel pencils(all of them), then buy myself the whole palette of nupastels. Presto! I am a pastel artist. NOT!! I just discovered I am lousy at pastels. I have only 4 soft pastels because they arent in my budget, but they seem to go on better then the hard pencils and nupastels.
I have been working on this july pastel challenge for 2 days, put over 10 hours into it. To me it looks like alot of green blobs on paper. Trust me, I did work very hard on it. I am mad at myself because it didnt turn out the way that I wanted it to and mad at myself because I am not a better artist(even though I have had years and years of practice). If only I was one of those artists that saw the blue in trees, the purple in the trees, the pinks in the grasses. (sigh).
Here it is.....my first mess for this month....the flash washed out the colors, so I tried to adjust them. I will try to take a better pic tomorrow outside.
ann
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jul-2010/187535-pastel_landscape_challenge_july.jpg

tuscanni
07-02-2010, 11:59 PM
OK friends - I'll jump in first. I am headed to U.S. for 3 weeks of leave in July; so there is limited time to paint this month. I tried the last photo Paula uploaded -- a stunning view that may be too deserving for my amateur hand.

Dave :)



DAVE .....great painting! I hope that you will enjoy your leave. I have enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your works.
ann

tuscanni
07-03-2010, 12:02 AM
WHOOPS! I forgot to state that my painting was 9" x 12" on Mi-Teintes paper, light yellow color.
C & C please.......

SunFace
07-03-2010, 12:38 AM
Greenbrier33 I think that is very beautiful! :clap:

Mary Y
07-03-2010, 04:40 AM
Ann,
Your tree painting is lovely. You have a good variety of greens in both the trees and the foreground grasses, and I really like your clouds.
The main tree and the row behind it look a little similar in tone but that may
be my monitor /the camera flash.
I don't think you should be mad at yourself I think you have done well.
I have looked at it several times and keep noticing interesting things that keep my eye in the painting.

Ruthie57
07-03-2010, 05:13 AM
Dave, your painting is gorgeous! Such delicate treatment of the subject with subtle yey exciting colour variations. Now that's something for us to live up to! Hope you have a great leave!
Ann, I think you're being too hard on yourself (a few of us do this!) I can tell this took you a long time becasue of the lovely detail you've put into it. The clouds are great! I have trouble bringing out foreground greens against the bg ones in trees. You've done this well.
Well, maybe I'll do one today. Was s'posed to be gardening but it's too hot again. I love the heat (makes a change in the UK) but not for gardening!

Nansketch
07-03-2010, 07:28 AM
Ann, Even tho this did not turn out the way you wanted (I can relate to that), it is very nicely done. As Ruthie mentioned, the clouds are wonderful -- also, there is a real feeling of distance. IMHO -I like the look and style of this. Good luck with your next one.
Nancy

Ruthie57
07-03-2010, 07:30 AM
So here's my first of the month. It's about 5x8 on fisher 400 and I used my small sets of art spectrum and sennelier except when they didn't provide the colour I needed. This took me about an hour. The shaded side of the tree is still not dark enough (tho' I've darkened it) but I'm off to work on my Swan again now!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2010/189061-IMG_5244.JPG

Greenbrier33
07-03-2010, 08:22 AM
Ann, as we all seem to do, you are hard on yourself. I love the painting! You've captured the intricacies and complexities of foliage; the variation of greens, blues, and yellows clearly show your history with art. The depth in the focal point tree is a difficult goal for me--but you've captured it very well. Your aerial perspective interpretation resulted in a warm, inviting intimacy, holds interest. Also like those special touches of orange/red highlighting. Well done.

For our other friends here, I'm grateful you took the time to look and comment and provide framing guidance. Maria, Nancy, Chuas, Judi, Mary, Carol, Robert, Don, Ann, Ruthie, and of course Paula...
:grouphug:


Ruthie, nice subject positioning -- the way the focal point is off-centered, leaving out the other smaller shrub from the photo that would have diverted attention. I would have cut it, too. The volume in the tree is very well orchestrated--airy and lightweight. Love it.
I keep looking for signs of Lochness :crossfingers:

chuas2
07-03-2010, 10:18 AM
Ann, agree with everyone else; you're WAY too hard on yourself, I think you've done a very good painting! I like the sense of distance and values that you used. And impressed that you did it with a somewhat limited palette. I'm too scared to try the trees, so bravo for doing it!

Another beauty, Ruthie. Thanks a lot :envy:
:lol:
Chuas

Judibelle
07-03-2010, 10:44 AM
Ann,... I, too, think it's lovely!
Ruthie...beautiful job on the tree!
Hope to get started on one soon...
Judi

Paula Ford
07-03-2010, 11:51 AM
Ann! Don't be so hard on yourself! Your piece is much better than you think it is! The colors are wonderful, you show distance very well, the ground plane is terrific!! It takes time, so relax and have fun with the process and worry less about the outcome. Are you squinting at the photo? Think mass and values and not so much detail.

Ruthie, Beautiful piece! I'm looking forward to painting that one too. Fabulous photo Don!!

pastellady
07-03-2010, 12:08 PM
Dave, there is a company in KCMO called PFI. They also have a website and will ship. They carry all framing supplies including spacers. The name of the spacer is econspacer. They come in a couple different sizes and also in black or clear.

Happy fourths of July. Our son was in Iraq and says to tell you hi and stay safe!
Jennylynne

DAK723
07-03-2010, 03:35 PM
Ann, This is a very nice painting! In all honesty, if I tried this on Canson, with a hard pastel like nupastel, it would never have come out this well. And I have 30 years experience! This reference has lots of detail - and lots of levels; meaning that you have various elements at different distances that are in front of one another. So, on a paper like Canson, where you can not put on layer after layer, this is very difficult - and, yet, you have done it very well! On Canson, I have never done a successful landscape - ever!

As for all those blues, purples, pinks, etc. Go ahead and experiment with some of those colors if you want. You don't have to see them! If you know a blue sky will reflect onto the flat surfaces of the land, put some in. If you add some purples in the shadows and they look good, throw in some more. It is not always a question of what you see. The cool colors in the shadows can be applied to make the warm colors look warmer - and vice versa.

Landscapes in pastel are hard! For many years, if my subject was a landscape, I did it in watercolor or in oil. Gradually, I am getting the hang of landscapes in pastel, too! That's why these Spotlights are so great - it gives us all a chance to experiment and learn from one another!

Ruth, what can I say - the background trees are very well done, the lake is great, the big tree is really nice, the foreground really good, too! In each of those areas, the light is wonderfully depicted!

Don

Deborah Secor
07-03-2010, 06:40 PM
sooo...I decide to start doing some fine art after not doing any oil paintings for 20 years. I think I am smart, hey, I wanna try something different and thought that I would try pastels. So, I buy myself some conte pastel pencils(all of them), then buy myself the whole palette of nupastels. Presto! I am a pastel artist. NOT!! I just discovered I am lousy at pastels. I have only 4 soft pastels because they arent in my budget, but they seem to go on better then the hard pencils and nupastels.
I have been working on this july pastel challenge for 2 days, put over 10 hours into it. To me it looks like alot of green blobs on paper. Trust me, I did work very hard on it. I am mad at myself because it didnt turn out the way that I wanted it to and mad at myself because I am not a better artist(even though I have had years and years of practice). If only I was one of those artists that saw the blue in trees, the purple in the trees, the pinks in the grasses. (sigh).
Here it is.....my first mess for this month....the flash washed out the colors, so I tried to adjust them. I will try to take a better pic tomorrow outside.
ann
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jul-2010/187535-pastel_landscape_challenge_july.jpg
Ann, since you asked for C&C, I want you to see that you have such nice underlying shapes already! I just reduced it to grayscale and did some lines, enhancing the values and the contrast in the tree. (I really hope you don't mind!)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2010/23609-ann.jpg
Maybe the details overwhelmed you. Detail is good, but it needs to be used judiciously. More near the area of interest, less elsewhere. Next time why not try putting your photograph too far off to see all the details??

I agree with Don, you did remarkably better than I ever would have done with the same materials. You're on the right track. Keep going!

Deborah

Deborah Secor
07-03-2010, 06:59 PM
I want to paint this one in another medium (and it will be a bonsai when I get done :wink2: ) so I've been playing around with the composition and thought I'd share my idea.

I like this crop and often simplify the photo this way. The light from the LH side makes it so different. Not sure why. I suspect it has something to do with the way we read from left to right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2010/23609-tree_spotlight_paula_2.c.jpg


There are a lot of good photos here... I'm crazy about the first one! If I could get into the pastel studio I'd play along, since I'm on vacation for July, but I just don't think I'll be able to get there.

Oh, if anyone wants to use this photo manip, feel free.

Deborah

robertsloan2
07-03-2010, 07:05 PM
Ruthie, yours is gorgeous. I love how it turned out and don't think the shaded side of the tree is too light, it's got good contrast.

Ann, Deborah's right about the amount of detail in background areas. I used to overdetail too, it's something non-intuitive because you'd think it'd look more real if you got the details in but it comes out less real. Your foliage clusters are a little too dense, their shapes seem to jigsaw together a little too neatly compared to real trees. Sky holes around the edges might help too.

If you blended over the background areas lightly with a fan brush, that may help to push that big tree forward. Just a thought.

Mary Y
07-03-2010, 07:31 PM
Ruthie,Another of your beautiful paintings . The light on the side of the tree is really striking , I am studying your sky holes as your tree is lovely and airy.

Deborah, Thank you for showing your manipulation .How do you do that?

robertsloan2
07-03-2010, 08:02 PM
Deborah, that's a neat crop. I missed that post, must have been posting at the same time. Definitely cool.

Nansketch
07-03-2010, 09:11 PM
Ruthie - this is wonderful -- you've really captured the roundness of the tree and its airyness (maybe not a real word) -- and, gosh the water is so smooth.

Deborah, very interesting sample, thanks for sharing!
Nancy

tuscanni
07-03-2010, 10:44 PM
ruthie.....this painting is absolutely beautiful. I dont know how you got such detail in a small size. I too have trouble making the trees in front stand out from the trees in the background. I guess I cant stop myself from seeing the details in the far trees. I have to make myself stop nitpicking the details in my pieces so much. The other artists here seem not to have a problem and I see that you dont have a problem making this scene so believeable and beautiful. Thanks for the C&C.

So here's my first of the month. It's about 5x8 on fisher 400 and I used my small sets of art spectrum and sennelier except when they didn't provide the colour I needed. This took me about an hour. The shaded side of the tree is still not dark enough (tho' I've darkened it) but I'm off to work on my Swan again now!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2010/189061-IMG_5244.JPG

tuscanni
07-03-2010, 10:55 PM
deborah..... I really dont mind at all. In fact I deeply appreciate you taking the time to show me the values and blocks of shapes in my painting. I am way too tough on myself like others have said here. I am tough on myself because I want to be as good an artist as others are here in the forum, but it doesnt seem to be happening for me. You guys and gals are SUPER talented in here and I admire you all!
I will take your advice and try to make the details more focused on the main subject of the painting. I think thats what overwhelmed me, all the details in the trees in back of the main tree. I totally stressed myself out trying to get the details right on the far trees.
Thanks again for the C & C and please give it to me anytime you feel like it :)
ANN

Ann, since you asked for C&C, I want you to see that you have such nice underlying shapes already! I just reduced it to grayscale and did some lines, enhancing the values and the contrast in the tree. (I really hope you don't mind!)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2010/23609-ann.jpg
Maybe the details overwhelmed you. Detail is good, but it needs to be used judiciously. More near the area of interest, less elsewhere. Next time why not try putting your photograph too far off to see all the details??

I agree with Don, you did remarkably better than I ever would have done with the same materials. You're on the right track. Keep going!

Deborah

Paula Ford
07-03-2010, 11:05 PM
Deborah, I love it! Great compsition. I would love to use that as a reference. The colors are gorgeous. Cool program!

tuscanni
07-03-2010, 11:07 PM
Don.. thanks for your words of wisdom. Honestly, I was almost ready to cry when I finished this painting because I thought it looked so terrible. How could I possibly put my mess up along side the other wonderful artists here. I was hoping that I would get some valuable C & C here and that I did. I dont have the $$$ to take pastel classes, but being here and listening to you and others have helped me tremendously! This landscape is only my 7th pastel I have ever done and my second landscape. I know how to do landscapes in acrylics, but pastels....totally difficult, no easy smooth physical mixing of the colors.
Thanks for giving me a boost to my ego. The artist inside me says "thanks don, for taking the time to let my know its ok" Your words and others comments have given me the confidense to try another photo from this months challenge.
ANN :smug:

Ann, This is a very nice painting! In all honesty, if I tried this on Canson, with a hard pastel like nupastel, it would never have come out this well. And I have 30 years experience! This reference has lots of detail - and lots of levels; meaning that you have various elements at different distances that are in front of one another. So, on a paper like Canson, where you can not put on layer after layer, this is very difficult - and, yet, you have done it very well! On Canson, I have never done a successful landscape - ever!

As for all those blues, purples, pinks, etc. Go ahead and experiment with some of those colors if you want. You don't have to see them! If you know a blue sky will reflect onto the flat surfaces of the land, put some in. If you add some purples in the shadows and they look good, throw in some more. It is not always a question of what you see. The cool colors in the shadows can be applied to make the warm colors look warmer - and vice versa.

Landscapes in pastel are hard! For many years, if my subject was a landscape, I did it in watercolor or in oil. Gradually, I am getting the hang of landscapes in pastel, too! That's why these Spotlights are so great - it gives us all a chance to experiment and learn from one another!

Ruth, what can I say - the background trees are very well done, the lake is great, the big tree is really nice, the foreground really good, too! In each of those areas, the light is wonderfully depicted!

Don

tuscanni
07-03-2010, 11:14 PM
Paula... thanks so much for the comments and for hosting this months challenge. WOW has it been a challenge! You are absolutely right, I never noticed until you pointed it out to me, I focus way too much on the details and trying to get the painting just right. I am going to try something different, maybe use more color and not so much green! I love green as a color, but there sure is alot of it in that picture.
Your work is beautiful.
ANN

Ann! Don't be so hard on yourself! Your piece is much better than you think it is! The colors are wonderful, you show distance very well, the ground plane is terrific!! It takes time, so relax and have fun with the process and worry less about the outcome. Are you squinting at the photo? Think mass and values and not so much detail.

Ruthie, Beautiful piece! I'm looking forward to painting that one too. Fabulous photo Don!!

tuscanni
07-03-2010, 11:25 PM
I think that I am posting WAAAY too many replies, sorry everyone! I am totally excited to have other artists that I can communicate with. :clap:
I will reply to all in this one message..
Mary Y... thanks for your comments and for letting me know that my painting isnt as bad as I think it is.
Nancy... thanks for the comment about my work
Chuas...thanks for the wonderful comment about my piece..its seems you and I both have some problems with working up the courage to try these trees
robert...thanks for the comment. You are right, I really over do the details. I need to learn from others here to not copy every little leaf and cluster.
Thanks everyone for all the C & C!! Happy July 4th to all who reside here in the US!
ANN

ArbySD
07-04-2010, 11:42 AM
Wow, when I cropped the photo to paint it, I came up with the same crop as Deborah, except that I didn't flip it. Now it seems like copying off someone else's paper to use it. I think I will anyway, though. :o

Ann and Dave, you've both done a beautiful job getting us started this month.

Ann, I've only been here a couple of months, but everyone here has been wonderfully supportive. We all learn when we share our work, whether or not we deem it "good enough." I hope that you will will cut yourself some slack as you get up and running with painting. I just started painting after about 15 years off, so I understand how bad you want this. I just try to learn as much as I can from every painting I do, and let go of the perfectionism that I had when I was younger. I'm looking forward to seeing your next painting.

chuas2
07-04-2010, 12:17 PM
Ok, here's my feeble attempt. On La Carte Card, mostly Mt. Vision and Rembrandt pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/208492-painting_July_Challenge_Treesv2.jpg

Ruthie57
07-04-2010, 01:00 PM
Chuas! What have I said to you? (lol)
I really like this...REALLY! The values are great, you've got such dark darks where they're needed in those trees. The suggestion of the far trees is ample for the painting and the colours in them are great. The sunlit grass and the shadows are spot on.
You know the more I look at this the more I like it! Go look at it for a while girl!!

gakinme
07-04-2010, 02:07 PM
Thank you, Paula, for the photo references.

Here are my attempts of the first two.

A mix of Faber Castell Polychromos hard pastel sticks, Dale Rowney soft pastels, Terry Ludwig deep purple, and pan pastels on 65 yellow cardstock with Colorfix primer 8.5 x 11 inch half page for each.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/86669-sp_July_2010_a.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/86669-sp_July_2010_b.jpg

chuas2
07-04-2010, 02:10 PM
haha! Thanks Ruthie, I don't know. I feel like I'm flying around in the dark when I do landscapes. I appreciate your comments though!

Hey did you know it's a holiday here in the colonies?
:lol: Chuas

Oh wow Sandra, we posted at the same time. Like these! Your usual admirably bold interpretations. As always, love the unconventional color choices and strong composition!

gakinme
07-04-2010, 02:31 PM
Thank you chuas. You have a very good piece there too. The pink is very cute on top of the tree.

This one is dedicated to the one of the Korean actors that I loved and who committed suicide on June 30. I'm still in a dark mood and it shows.

Pan pastel
Terry Ludwig purple pastel
Dale Rowney soft pastel
65 lb purple cardstock with clear Colorfix primer 8.5 x 11 inch full page


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/86669-sp_July_2010_c.jpg

Ruthie57
07-04-2010, 02:46 PM
Hey did you know it's a holiday here in the colonies?
:lol: Chuas



Yes I know and a very happy Independence day to you all (bit late but not too late for some!)

robertsloan2
07-04-2010, 02:59 PM
Chuas, that's gorgeous. I love the texture on the trees and those beautiful sky holes. The strong values are so cool. Someday I'll learn to get my foliage that well and not do it as a solid chunk of green styrofoam.

Sandra, your first two are striking. I saw them on the All-Media Sketch Thread 8 and commented there. I love the light on the second one, it's gorgeous. The blue scene that you've done is very emotional, it also looks very natural for a twilit evening scene. A perfect, sad nocturne.

Greenbrier33
07-04-2010, 03:41 PM
Chuas,
Loose, free, the way great art can be. Great piece! How large is the La Carte Card?
The cool grays & blue-greens far in the distance look so nice against the warmer colors closer. Then, the dark shadows pull you right back in to keep this circular motion... and I want to paint more like that.

Sandra,
The blue scene is moving, emotional, again...the way great art can be.

tuscanni
07-04-2010, 05:26 PM
Happy July 4th! :wave: to all my fellow americans! and happy weekend to everyone else, fellow artists.
I have been spending the holiday working on another monthly challenge.
Nupastels, 6" x 9" on cardstock(scrapbooking papers, I love the colors). I purposely left the edges the color of the paper instead of covering it all up. I wanted it to look rugged and not so much a park type setting.
I also updated my first monthly challenge that I posted a few days ago. I took photos outside, in the shade rather then inside with a flash. Looks better and more representative of what they actually look like.
C & C please....I appreciate all comments.
ANN
my second attempt at the monthly challenge..cropped from the original picture
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/187535-pastel_landscape_challenge_july_reflection.jpg
the first monthly challenge I did, but with better photo lighting
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/187535-pastel_landscape_challenge_july2.jpg

ShannonRae
07-04-2010, 05:31 PM
Alrighty, here goes nothing...:o Just as a warning, this is my first ever pastel painting. Given that, I don't call it a complete disaster. Still there are so many things about it I'm unhappy with. I meant to use the smoother side of the paper but of course I didn't...which meant that I got a little carried away with blending, so things are a lot muddier than I would have wished. And I didn't think to do the water before the tree, so instead of water showing through it's blank paper. :( Still though I think in a very general sense it's not too terrible for my first one. :) I definitely learned a lot of things through the process. C & C is welcome and probably desperately needed. :) Also, it's worth mentioning that the picture sort of mutes the colors a little more than they really are...the sky and water particularly. Done on grey Canson pastel paper and using Rembrandt pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2010/190630-pasteltree.jpg

ArbySD
07-04-2010, 06:12 PM
Chuas, I love the darks and the crop in this one. And the hills in the background are really cool and impressionistic. The colors really pop in this one.

Sandra, I really wish that I could learn to be this this loose and painterly. Maybe someday... I love the bright colors in the second one, and the sketchy sky in the first. The nocturne is very moving.

Ann, I love the crop in this one, and how bright and sunny it feels. Great job!

Shannon, this is your first pastel painting? You did a great job. The trees feel airy and light. The distant shore seems to be competing with the rest of the painting, but overall looks good.

ArbySD
07-04-2010, 06:20 PM
Still can't get the insert image button to work. Tried in Firefox this time, but no luck.

Here's my attempt at photo #6. C&C appreciated.
487840

SunFace
07-04-2010, 06:44 PM
Oh my God, I am gone a couple of days and I get so far behind!
Chuas, Sandra, Ann, Shannon, and everyone else (in case I miss one). All the work I see is really fantastic!
This is really a hard subject and I think everyone is being hard on themselves, so here I go too. I was terrified to post my little painting (is about 8 x 10 on Bristol paper), but I decided to take one of Charlie’s photos and crop it (hope that is ok), and try it out. I was completely dumbfounded as how to approached it, and then I decided it to go at is in a sort of impressionist way, since that is my style, sort of.
I know is not all that good and I found it quite difficult to do. But hey, there is no other way to learn! Right?
Well, please let me know what you think. I hope the ones that celebrate 4th of July do so joyfully.
I am in my way to make the hot dogs for tonight and watch the fireworks with my family. Independence Day is a very emotional day for patriots.

saramathewson
07-04-2010, 08:20 PM
Dave,

You really did a beautiful job especially with such a limited palette!
As far as the frame goes, I would keep the frame but have it the size of the painting and use spacers I think frametek.com has econospacers. I myself have not used them yet but Paula uses them all the time. And i plan to get some after i move.

Have a great time on leave. My son is in basic training right now in the Army and will be gong to San Antonio for his training as a medic. I appreciate everything you are doing for this country!

Sara

Paula Ford
07-04-2010, 09:09 PM
Chuas, I love the contrasts in your painting. It really pops!

Sandra, The first two have beautiful colors and are very harmonious! The last has a great deal of emotion. So sorry you are feeling down.

Ann, both are really nice! I especially love the first one! Really lovely work.

Shannon, Very lovely piece!! Until you mentioned the paper showing through the tree, I didn't even notice it :lol: You did a great job for your first :clap:

Robin, How lovely! Beautiful colors and I love how you changed the composition!!

Maria, Love the flowers, colors, people... beautifully done!!

robertsloan2
07-04-2010, 09:55 PM
Tuscanni, your painting looks a lot better in the new photo. It's gorgeous. The colors are a lot truer and the contrasts are more effective.

Shannon, even though you used the rough side, this is a lovely rendering. I like the specks of paper showing through the tree, they do hint at the water and that bit of pink is very lively against the green. Beautiful.

Arby, yours is gorgeous. I love the rich saturated colors and the strong atmospheric perspective. It's got a lively intensity to it that makes me smile.

Maria, this is great! Don't be self conscious about it, you've got beautiful depth and color here. Well done!

Mary Y
07-05-2010, 02:33 AM
While I slept a whole gallery of paintings were posted.

Chaus,
I like your landscape. The light in it is lovely and your trees are great .

Sandra,
You have been busy. They are all good but I really like the first one best, though I think your blues in the third do an excellent job portraying your mood.

Ann,
Lovely crop for your second it has lovely sunlight on the ground and in the trees.

Shannon,
I like how the paper shows through the tree it looks like light.I think the rough side of Canson worked well here.A very nice first pastel.

Robin,
Lovely painting, great colours and I like the blues you have in the hills.

Maria,
You have taken Charlie's picture and made it your own painting.(Something I really want to learn to do)
I like this a lot , the figures are a great addition,nice recession and lots of lovely greens.

Colorix
07-05-2010, 05:38 AM
Oh, so many wonderful paintings already!

Dave, lovely painting, with shimmering colour! As for framing, I think the frame is fine, but I'd lose the mat and use spacers instead.

Ann, great one (first), especially for being rusty and switching medium. There is a learning curve (for every medium), keep on painting, and you'll internalise what pastels can do. Second (crop), love that one, it is looser, and good reflections!

Hi Shannon, good first pastel! Oh yes, you learned a lot, your own comments are spot on. You'll soar pretty quickly.

Ruthie, wonderful, and these kind of young and 'fluffy' trees are usually not so deep valued in the shadow parts, looks great to me. If anything, the distant bank might be lighter.

Chuas, it is beautiful and strong (strike 'feeble' from your vocabulary), really giving a sense of rosy very early morning.

Sandra, wonderfully expressive, as always. Lovely greens -- and blues.

Robin, lovely greens, really good volume in 3D! (Some have trouble with inserting, at least you can attach. Have you reported your problem to admin?)

Maria, very nice and loose, and the crop an re-arrangement is great! (Yes, it is allowed, it is encouraged, even.) You've hightened the sense of the place, and personally I really like that you lost the hedge, it is too straight and long.

Hope I found all contributions, if I missed one, it is totally un-intended.

Charlie

chuas2
07-05-2010, 11:33 AM
Chuas,
Loose, free, the way great art can be. Great piece! How large is the La Carte Card?


David, I usually buy full sheets of La Carte and cut it up. There are pads with good sizes (9x12, 12x15) but I always want scraps so I can choose my palette by marking them up instead of right on the painting.

ArbySD
07-05-2010, 11:40 AM
Charlie, I found the answer to the insert image problem in this link: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627628. Arnoud said that this site is fussy about the way the domain name appears in the web address bar. Mine said wetcanvas.com instead of www.wetcanvas.com. Once I put that www. in the address bar, the upload worked just fine. Now I can use Chrome or any browser I want. Happy, happy, happy...:clap:

Colorix
07-05-2010, 01:20 PM
Robin, thank you, very good to know that! So glad it got solved!

Charlie

winecountry
07-05-2010, 02:34 PM
I'm bad with trees( not the good bad, the oldfashioned really bad with trees, not to mention greens) so this is perfect, first time I've joined in..thanks for posting it.

winecountry
07-05-2010, 02:42 PM
Quick ignorant question and then I'll stop hogging the thread: Where can I buy spacers? From any particular website to have shipped? :confused:
Dave
Hi Dave.....love the little pastel....there is another way to frame gaining acceptance I've used it for 4 years with no problems. and that is to put it directly on the glass.....I know I know.....but it's actually and old french way of framing and some of them are 150 years old....it's easier if you have a mounted paper, but I've done small ones that way. I carefully place it on the glass and if needed a stiff mat behind and tape the whole thing on the edges sealed up like a sandwich....I use ph neutral tape, that way sealed from dust, can pop in and out of any frame, and no mat need....I can do a demo if people want one I'm about to frame a couple of pieces...you can frame like an oil painting that way, and move frames easily.

Ruthie57
07-05-2010, 02:58 PM
Ann. What a great second attempt! Love the reflections and the crop.
Shannon. Very good first attempt, especially on such textured paper. The far side of the lake seems to slope a little (may be the photo) but you've given it a good shot!
Robin, this is great. I love the purples in the far trees against the bright sunlit grass!
Maria. I love your refreshing style! I'm thinking of doing this one and losing the hedge and making a few changes but it would never occur to me to turn it into a wildflower meadow! beautiful.
Colleen, welcome to your first spotlight! Interesting about the framing against the glass. I'd love to see a demo!
Hope I haven't missed anyone. This thread has been busy!

Colorix
07-05-2010, 03:06 PM
Colleen, stirring the can of worms, are you? :-D I do that too (don't even tape edges), but where I live, the indoor climate is very dry, and no problems with molds or insects. In more humid climates, the space to the glass is very much needed. The French have abandoned the against-the-glass practice, as there were problems.

Charlie

robertsloan2
07-05-2010, 03:22 PM
Robin, I missed seeing yours. It's gorgeous. The colors are so rich and pure, the depth is wonderful, the feeling of it is great. It's so light drenched and glorious. Well done!

Judibelle
07-05-2010, 04:00 PM
so many lovely entries already!
ruthie...absolutely beautiful tree!
chuas..love the colors in the trees
Sandra...Love the dark sky and your 2 landscapes
Ann..I like them both.
Shannon...I think you did very well!
Robin...beautiful colors!
Sunface...nice rendition!

i got inspired today and finished this one....
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/103700-scan0002.jpg_Spotlight_tree.jpg

again using the bugra paper (I'll be glad when I've used it up!)
9x12 soft and hard (mixture) of pastels...
C&C always welcomed...
Judi

chuas2
07-05-2010, 04:18 PM
Nice piece Judi! Beautiful muted colors, simple but effective composition.

So I think I've only seen your work on the Hahnemühle paper. What will you switch to when you've used it up?
Chuas

Judibelle
07-05-2010, 04:25 PM
thanks, Chuas....I have some Canson and also some sand-types to try (when I am self-confident enough to use 'good' paper LOL)
Judi

robertsloan2
07-05-2010, 05:34 PM
Judi, this one is magnifcent! I love the texture on these trees. You captured the scene perfectly and the crop is gorgeous. The depth in this is beautiful.

Nansketch
07-05-2010, 05:35 PM
So hard to keep up with this group . . .

Chaus, great colors and layering on yours
Sandra, love the vibrant look to the first two. The third has a strong mood, especially like the sky.
Ann- your reflecting trees -- really like the overall effect, good distance and reflections.
Shannon -- glad you joined us - good start with your pastels, very nice feeling of distance and light
Robin -- I like the color palette you've used and your gentle lights
Maria, great job with the figures -- spaced nicely and help the feeling of distance
Judi, wonderful softness to this

Nancy

Nansketch
07-05-2010, 05:45 PM
First -
9x12in, light blue colourfix with an underpainting -- limited palette of yellows, blue and purple

Second - 7x11in mi-tientes terracotta -- I've changed this up a bit, stretched it out and removed a few pieces, pushed the scene back to have more foreground. I've tried to use a cross-hatching technique -- not so sure about it. Let me know what you think.

Third- same changes as #2, on salmon pastel card -- again with the cross hatching --

C&C welcome and appreciated.
Thanks for looking.
Nancy

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls-3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls-2.jpg

SunFace
07-05-2010, 06:14 PM
Thank you everyone for the nice comments! I really appreciate it.

Nansketch I really like your painting, specially the stand alone tree. I always enjoyed the mix of blue and green. So powerful.

Judibelle I like your style too. Very nice. I always favor the looser strokes.

Everyone's work is so gorgeous. :clap: :clap: :clap:

gakinme
07-05-2010, 06:30 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments.

robertsloan2
07-05-2010, 07:12 PM
Nancy, these are beautiful. I like your limited palette tree, that's gorgeous. The colors work together beautifully. It gives an impression of green without any green, that's fascinating.

The other two are beautiful. The textural differences between them are interesting, but I like them both. Your crosshatching technique makes the meadow look wind-tossed and natural, it's gorgeous.

tvandeb
07-05-2010, 08:23 PM
Wow, you all are fast! Really beautiful interpretations so far; I'm impressed with the variations in colors you all used!!!!:clap:

Here's my attempted of the lone tree, I did change the colors a tad bit. I loaded my underpainting with pastels blended with alcohol. Done on pastelmat 9" x 7" with various soft and semi-hard pastels. :)

tuscanni
07-06-2010, 12:56 AM
this is my third attempt at the monthly challenge. Geez, I am addicted to pastels :lol: Since I have discovered them I dont want to do my REAL work, painting dog ornaments.
I wanted to do something different, colorful, out of my comfort zone. It looks nothing like the picture or even close to the colors, but I wanted to do something fun.
I dont have good quality soft pastels so I used my Loew Cornell set on 9" x 12" strathmore pastel paper.
C & C welcome. Its just a fun piece, so dont think that I was in any way serious about this, but I would enjoy hearing any comments. I just grabbed colors cuz I liked the color.
ANN
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/187535-colorful_landscape.jpg

tuscanni
07-06-2010, 12:59 AM
nancy....I love your wispy grasses and this tree, awesome!
ann

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls-3.jpg

ArbySD
07-06-2010, 08:04 AM
Judy, I love the crop on this picture. It looks so intimate. You've done a nice job balancing the composition. I can't wait to see what you will do with some sanded paper.

Nancy, these are just yummy! The first one has such a soothing color palette, like you could just pull up a chair and take a snooze. And the other two have an interesting texture. I like the hills in the first one, and the foreground in the second. The crosshatching was a very effective technique.

Tammy, the rhythm of your strokes is very lively. They give the tree, grass and hills a sense of movement.

Ann, this one is your best yet. The trees are loose and bright. The way you've repeated the colors throughout the whole painting helps unify all of the elements. And that little bit of rippling on the water is just right. You really have a knack for pastel.

Wow, I just realized how much I am learning from commenting on other people's artwork. One can sure get a lot of value from participating in this site. :)

Finvarra
07-06-2010, 11:56 AM
Here's my effort, I don't really do many landscapes, but thought I would like to try this in pastels. On Ingres paper.

Cheers
Lesley

Colorix
07-06-2010, 12:21 PM
Judi, lovely and soft!

Nancy, wonderful three! Love the energy of the third, the foreground grasses move in the wind!

Tammy, nice one! Very interesting with the underpainting, thanks for showing it.

Ann, love this tree, it is absolutely wonderful! It glows and shimmers beautifully! Look, it is supposed to be fun, and your having fun here is very impressionistic, in the true sense of the use of colour! (Pastels *are* addictive, highly.)

Lesley, lovely! The foliage is very nicely done, and the foreground really comes forward.

Charlie

robertsloan2
07-06-2010, 02:00 PM
One of the things I love about these challenges is seeing the different beautiful ways others handle the same references.

Tammy, this is excellent. I think you've outdone your best. The foliage texture is lovely and the distant hills have a great texture too. I like that patch of light at the base of the tree, it's very lively.

Lesley, the shadows on your tree are gorgeous. The sky is cool and the water texture fascinating. You did another version of it that's good in a completely different way.

Ann, your fooling around with the colors you like made this painting sparkle! It's spectacular. The light is rich and powerful, the colors dance together in a way that makes me smile and the whole scene reads true while using the full spectrum. It's alive. I love your composition too, it's well balanced and gorgeous. Sometimes the best paintings come out of just fooling around and enjoying yourself.

tvandeb
07-06-2010, 02:36 PM
Thank you for the comments... I was not real pleased with the rendering of the water I did, I went back and changed some things, I'm pleased with it now. :)

goodmang
07-06-2010, 04:38 PM
Hi everyone, this is my first post. I am just getting started in pastels and I'm having a great time. I may tinker a little more with this, but it's been a great learning experience...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jul-2010/71862-_MG_9829.jpg

winecountry
07-06-2010, 04:50 PM
One of my new year resolutions is to get started on mastering landscape, so I can put my birds and animals in nice enviroments. I've never been much good at it, so the only way it to just paint more, This exercise is such a good place for me to start. I'm thinking of doing each in oil too so I can get the hang of both media, and start some plein air this year.


I looked over all the listed artists, some really are inspiring....but my results here are mostly just copying styles of other artists I see trying to find something that works. Reading the Secor blog was a big help too.


I notice that the artists shown onsite painting were not exactly painting what they saw, but changing it so I put the photos in PS and manipulated colors and crops, haven't quite faced the green demons yet...skipped out by changing seasons or time of day:lol:

I used my new pastelmat for the first two, wow love the surface, would be good for detail work esp IMO. and color fix for the last one, all small works about 6x8 (small works are so frustrating in pastel for me) but didn't want to use the pastelmat big until I experimented...it's very expensive.

these are OK but not very exciting IMO...the last one is better so maybe it's just more practice.

robertsloan2
07-06-2010, 05:21 PM
Tammy, your changes are pretty subtle. Why didn't you like the water in the first version? I'm glad you're happy with it now though.

Greg, wow! Your trees are spectacular. I love the strong modeling and great contrasts you've got with them, they really are a focal point. The reflections are good but they draw attention up toward the trees rather than down to the water, which is a refreshing change. Good painting.

Colleen, yours are excellent. The one you like the best has the strongest, most saturated colors. But I like the other two as well, they're all good. You have a loose style with a good depth to it and lively strokes. I like all three of these.

chuas2
07-06-2010, 06:59 PM
Wow Colleen, great stuff. I especially like the last one. While I KNOW care has to be taken to color, value, composition, etc., sometimes it feels good to just let loose and let your color imagination run. Or as my friend Bob calls my painting "flailing around." lol!

Nancy, fantastic color! I love the extended fields, the second and third are dreamy and just sparkle!

Good job Greg! Your reflections are awesome and most of all, you're havin' a blast! Aren't pastels fun?

Tammy, love the strong shapes and colors in yours!

Ann, you're a really fast learner, or you've had more previous experience than you're letting on. Really nice painting!

Lesley, I love yours, it's very atmospheric and soft. Lovely!

Great work everyone! I better get hopping!
Chuas

SunFace
07-06-2010, 09:56 PM
goodmang That is your first post and are new to pastels! It is beautiful! I am not sure what else you think you need to do, but please post again!

Winecountry, you really accomplish many of them. They are all gorgeous.

tvandeb I love the changes. I like the colors much more, so lively!

tuscanni
07-06-2010, 10:35 PM
Ann, you're a really fast learner, or you've had more previous experience than you're letting on. Really nice painting!

Great work everyone! I better get hopping!
Chuas
hi chuas....I do have previous experience, but not in pastels. The last pastel that I posted was my 9th or 10th pastel that I have ever done. I used to work in oils back in the late 1980's, but have worked with craft acrylics for 20 years making wood christmas ornaments and recently painting on christmas balls. I do want to be a fine artist and not just a craft artist, so thats why I started with pastels. I am at craft shows alot selling and I can take my pastel pencils with me.
I have been reading the pastel forums alot and that is how I have been learning. The last pastel I posted I just winged it and put alot of pretty colors together, instead of my traditional realistic look. I didnt put much thought into the colorful palette, I just grabbed bright colors that didnt clash. Using the principals of light against dark, dark is shadow, light color is toward sun, more blue receeding into the background, I produced a more colorful piece. In fact I find pastels to be very difficult as opposed to acrylics, because of the limited color palette and the inability to achieve the right color by mixing, like you can do with acrylics and oils.
Here is a sample pic of what I have been doing for many years. Not exactly fine art, but it helps pay the bills.
Acrylics on a 3" ball and 4" ball.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jul-2010/187535-CRAFT-ball_orn_small-horse_head_grey_red_ball.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jul-2010/187535-CRAFT-ball_orn-hunt_scene_wall_jump_grey_red_ball.jpg

tuscanni
07-06-2010, 10:51 PM
goodmang....wow! I am impressed! Your painting is wonderful and so true to the picture. I was too lazy to try and do the whole picture, but I am glad to see that you tackled it. You did wonderfully being a newbie to pastels like I am. Hope to see more works posted.
robert...thanks so much for the kind comments about my colorful rendition. I was like a kid playing in the sandbox, having a joyous time playing and creating at the same time.
charlie...I was purposely trying to just be fun and wing it, because my first piece for this months challenge was such a stressful challenge, with all those globs and bunches of leaves I was trying to reproduce. Also, there was a thread/arguement, in the landscape forum I do believe, about composition and the correct way to go about it. One artist said scientifically and the other said just have fun. I of course was on the side of having fun with art. Luckily the thread didnt turn into mud slinging fight like I have seen in other forums/chat rooms on other websites. So I was finally able to use bright pink in a landscape! and with no flowers :)
arbySD...thanks for your comments. In the beginning, I was afraid that I didnt have a knack for pastels. I was scared that I was wasteing my money on art supplies because I had no talent for pastels, money that I should be spending on bills.
--------------------------------------------------
I just love wetcanvas. It gives we artists a place to talk with other artists and to present our work to other people. Thankyou to one and all for commenting on my works, since I have no one offline to offer me support.
ANN

Paula Ford
07-06-2010, 11:10 PM
My internet keeps going down and I've lost the big post I was preparing!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:

You all are doing a beautiful job on these photos!! I'll comment to each one of you soon.

Am preparing the demo I promised and am using the 2nd photo of Charlie's. I'll have to post it next week because I'm preparing for and am headed to Kentucky to teach a workshop this weekend.

tuscanni
07-07-2010, 01:27 AM
Have a great trip Paula!!! hope you enjoy your workshop
ANN

My internet keeps going down and I've lost the big post I was preparing!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:

You all are doing a beautiful job on these photos!! I'll comment to each one of you soon.

Am preparing the demo I promised and am using the 2nd photo of Charlie's. I'll have to post it next week because I'm preparing for and am headed to Kentucky to teach a workshop this weekend.

tvandeb
07-07-2010, 10:58 AM
Thanks for the comments. Robert; on the first painting the water to me seemed to drown out the colors in the tree, so I thought by making the water lighter it would bring it out more, I don't know if it actually did that or not, but the water color is as close to the ref as I could get it.
Steve; Wow, really beautiful, really captured the reflections very well too.
Colleen: Beautiful colors on all three, very nice.:)

Paula Ford
07-07-2010, 11:47 AM
Judy, Great job on the bugra paper!! I’m not familiar with it, but assume it is not a sanded surface.

Nancy, the tree in the first one is just beautiful! Love the grasses and the softness in texture in the other two!

Tammy, Very nice! Love the underpainting.

Ann, Such lovely colors!

Lesley, Wonderful piece! I like the format!

Hi Greg, Welcome to the Pastel Forum! What a beautiful piece! I love the reflections and trees and everything. Beautiful!

Colleen, Beautiful! You have such a soft style!

Ann, Your Christmas ornaments are beautiful! Hey, I may be headed to your area to teach a workshop. Will let you know.

Paula Ford
07-07-2010, 04:27 PM
Here is my finished painting of Charlie's beautiful photo. I've named it "Charlie's Farm." (I should have mentioned that my last painting was also from this photo.) Thank you Charlie!!!

I am in the process of writing the demonstration that goes with it. Will post that probably next week. 12x12 on Uart.

Hope you like it! Stay tuned for the demo.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jul-2010/1978-Charlottes_Farm-sm.JPG

Colorix
07-07-2010, 04:41 PM
Paula, it is absolutely gorgeous! The other, is it Rhythms? Never spotted it... Truly making a photo your own! (I find that easier to do with other ppls pics, and stick slavishly to my own photos... )

My internet connection is highly erratic, but I'm about to start on one of the pics, and have serious plans for the last one. Will take time, as I'll go PA a bit.

Comment on others later, my connection is about to go down again.

Charlie

winecountry
07-07-2010, 04:50 PM
just stunning Paula, I think this is one of my favorite of all your posts, in it you have a perfect balance of soft and strong in value, in color and in drawing, and the description has not been sentimentalized but made personal as tho the tree is its own individual self, quite a goal for me to strive for..... Bravo:thumbsup:

robertsloan2
07-07-2010, 05:02 PM
Paula, this is awesome! I'm looking forward to your demo.

Ann, your Christmas ornaments look good. That's a cool thing to do. They're detailed and accurate, interesting and very effective. I hope you get a good price for them.

tvandeb
07-07-2010, 05:49 PM
Paula;
Wow, just really beautiful! Really like the color choices. I can't wait to see the demo!:)

chuas2
07-07-2010, 06:19 PM
Paula, stunning, inspirational, impressionistic and like a poem, just lovely.
Chuas

ArbySD
07-07-2010, 09:09 PM
Leslie, your really have a beautiful sense of depth in your painting. I love how it looks like the sun is just breaking through and shining on the trees.

Greg, I don't know what you'd tinker with! Such strong contrast and composition. You make it look easy. I hope we get to see more from you.

Coleen, I really like the colors you used, especially in the last two. Very painterly and impressionistic.

Ann, thanks for sharing your other work. I know what you mean about the art supplies. Since I got back into painting, I've been spending all my lunch money on them. Every time I see a new medium that I've not tried before, I just stand there and argue with myself. "I don't need this, I don't need this..." "Yeah but they look so yummy! Imagine what we could do..." I've been fortunate in that the nearest Hobby Lobby has been clearancing stuff. I got some Rembrandt pastels, and Sennelier oil pastels at 70% off. Lucky me!

Paula - WOW! I can't wait to see the demo!

SunFace
07-07-2010, 10:38 PM
OMG Paula that is so beautiful. I am definitively looking forward for the demonstration.

It looks just like a professional photo and not a painting! :clap:

Tusccani, your Christmas ornaments are very pretty. I paint on any surface, but never occurred to me to do it on a Christmas ball. they are great!

huni
07-07-2010, 11:09 PM
Wow - how much got done in a short time, Charlie - my two greatset fears - green and trees, find them hard to draw even! :(

Dave, yours is exellent, love the frame but thats just me.

Ann, I too liked the form of your trees, they felt very livley to me - like the movement in Van Gough trees, you should explore that perhaps. :)

Ruthie - lovely - lovely light (what else from you) :)

Chuas, nice pink in the blue that pulls this togther.

Sandra - the flowers seem to be in a breeze - nice.

Shannon! 1st ever? blimey keep going you are on your way!

Robin, like Ruthie's i like the light in this one.

Maria - nice one and great to see people in it.

Judi another light filled one :)

Paula - what can one say? Beautiful as always? yep that.

Nancy - middle one good, the best one.

Tammy, good one and the underpainting a good idea after what we learned on going green.

Lesly, is Ingres good to use? - I just got some and it seems too pristine to risk ruining. You did well so I might risk it :)

Greg - really wow - give us more okay.

okay may give it a try - Charlie what if we do a REALLY big bonsai?
huni

Paula Ford
07-07-2010, 11:56 PM
Thank you all for your kind comments! I'll get the demo done as soon as I can. It probably won't be until next Monday though.

Dea
07-08-2010, 03:45 AM
Hi everyone,
nice paintings, it is really interesting to see all the different styles.
I've been reading Deborahs Book on painting landscapes and I would like to give this a go if I get time. Paula your painting is gorgeous I can't wait for the demo,

Deanna

Ruthie57
07-08-2010, 03:53 AM
Oh I've got so behind with this thread! No time now but back later to comment!

Mary Y
07-08-2010, 10:15 AM
So many great paintings. I hope to have time to try one at the weekend, work keeps getting in the way.

Judi ,A very nice soft tree. I like the crop.
Nancy, The palette you used in the first is lovely and the crosshatched grasses are very effective .
Tammy, Both your paintings are lovely.
Ann, Your lone tree glows.Your ornaments are an excellent idea for Christmas.
Lesley, Great sunlit tree. I had a peep at your website,great pastels and I loved the W/Colour shells.
Greg, I like this very much .Beautiful light in the trees and in the water.
Colleen, All three are lovely but my favorite is the third.
Paula, Just beautiful. I am so looking forward to seeing your Demo.

Finvarra
07-08-2010, 05:45 PM
Your picture is beautiful Paula, I'm looking forward toyour demo.

Huni, I hate Ingres! I've recently come back to pastels since discovering Pastelmat, But as I need to order some more, I used some old Ingres for the tree. Ugghhh - couldn't get any depth of pastel, the pastel kept falling off the paper, and I remembered why I stopped using pastels years ago! Next try will be on Pastelmat (I love it, wonderful stuff).

Cheers
Lesley

Nansketch
07-08-2010, 06:24 PM
This group is so productive and hard to keep up with -- really fun to watch everyone and see the different styles.

Tammy - yours has a lot that I like, especially how you've done the far row of trees and the leaves on the main tree
Ann - your color choices are great, I like the pinks/roses
Lesley - your tree scene is great - the airyness to the tree and the feeling of distance
Greg - Welcome!! this is a beautiful lake scene, I really like the reflections that are close to the shoreline
Colleen, you are off to a great start in landscapes -- I'm really drawn to the colors in 1 and 3
Paula - gorgeous!! will look forward to the demo -- the grass colors are beautiful

Thanks to everyone for comments on mine --

Nancy

Ruthie57
07-10-2010, 04:33 PM
I can't believe how far behind I have got with this thread!
Well, here goes....
Judi, lovely soft painting. I like the pink sky!
Nancy, I like the alternative colours in your first one. Of the other 2 the 1st of those appeals to me most although both are good.
Tammy, thanks for showing the underpainting. I like your second version best, the water was a little dark in the first one (but you know that because you changed it!)
Ann, I love your lone tree one! The colours are great and the light on that water is fantastic!
Lesley, this turned out very well. Whether intentional or not it has a sort of brooding, stormy look to it, which I like.
Greg, HI! This is beautiful. I like everything about it. Hope to see more of your work here and in the studio maybe?
Colleen. These are very nice. I like the last one best, lovely colours. You are right that the only way to get better at landscape is to practice. I've been doing that for a while now and there has been some improvement but it can be frustrating I find. Glad you like the pastelmat. It's one of my favourites.
Paula, yours is beautiful! A cut above for sure. When you gonna post this demo then?
Thanks everyone for your comments about mine which it feels like I did weeks ago!

Ruthie57
07-10-2010, 04:44 PM
I'm a bit slower this month than last. I have had a lot on my plate but I s'pose the main thing is I have to be in the mood to paint trees. Well today I was, sorta.
I had already planned on flipping this one before Deborah did it (honest!) So I've taken a very pretty, colourful scene with a lot of potential for a gorgeous painting and I've made it..................BORING! :(
Here it is. (sigh...must keep practising!)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2010/189061-spotlight_2.jpg

winecountry
07-10-2010, 05:45 PM
Well I'd like to know why you thinks it's boring, and if so how you would like it to look?;)

Dougwas
07-10-2010, 05:51 PM
Ruthie- That is not boring. Your trees look great with a very good distinction between the lit areas and shaded areas. I also like the different colours in the trees. The field is also well lit with the warm greens. I like it.


Here is my first attempt this month. I have been working on it, off and on, for the past three days and I am tired of it. I found it quite difficult to paint the trees, because they are all in the shade. With no lit areas, I couldn't use as wide of range of shades. Oh well.

It is on 8 x 10 burgundy AS Colourfix and I used a variety of soft pastels after using FC Polychromos for the under painting.

Thanks for looking.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jul-2010/102199-July_10_Spotlight1.jpg


Doug

robertsloan2
07-10-2010, 11:21 PM
Doug, yours is interesting. I like that brilliant blaze of the golden meadow behind the trees, that's awesome. It's elegant, I like the textures.

Ruthie, your painting is anything but boring! It's gorgeous. I love it.

Ruthie57
07-11-2010, 04:47 AM
Colleen. yes I must think about that!
Doug, Thank you! And yours is very well done for what I saw as a difficult one (which is why I probably won't do it).
Robert, Thank you. I'm not saying it doesn't have some good points. Just that I find it boring, the sort of painting that is instantly forgotten by the viewer once they have passed by.
One reason for that could be that there is not a broad enough range of values. I've got darks (too many) and bright but not that light areas. Hmm, I'm off to do some more to it!

Ruthie57
07-11-2010, 08:50 AM
Sorry to go on, but, when i looked at it again this morning I realised just how dark the photo was, which didn't help.
I've lightened the values of the fore tree, scumbled a little grey over the lighter areas of the BG trees and lightened the value of the grass.
Having taken a photo which is more representative anyway, here it is.
Still boring but not in such a deadly way now. :D

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2010/189061-2_amended.jpg

winecountry
07-11-2010, 12:43 PM
I agree Ruthie, much improved....since I've had the same feeling about mine, I've been trying to think outside the photo box, how can I crop, change light, comp etc to make the photo more interesting, and trying some colors that may not be in the photo...if that helps. to me the most important thing the artist can do is ask the right question of their work, and the painting will tell you what to do.

Since I have no idea what I'm doing I hope the participants will understand when I don't comment on the works, I don't feel I know enough yet to do that, but can say for the first time I'm learning to really "see" trees, and can now see the warms and cools and openings and shapes better, still not seeing values as well, but over all there's been a shift that is really helping

One thing is, I think I need to use my own photos, trees I've seen and responded to, the photos are just too removed from experience and feeling otherwise... so from now on I'm going to use my own, I'll post it and anyone can use it if they want, unless that's against the rules of the game here.

here is the last one of the posted group, I changed the angle of view and time of day. Another try on pastelmat, there are things I like and some I don't about this stuff, over all I like it. There was a time when the light was better on this one 9x12

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2010/103030-tree_pastel_mat_2294.jpg

ShannonRae
07-11-2010, 01:19 PM
Okay, here is my second effort. I can't say it's a huge improvement over my first one but there is something about it that I rather like. I'm still blending too much, I totally ruined the left side with it, but I did try to rein myself in and I think there are some things I did a little better. I wish I could get a better photograph, it just looks muddier on the screen than it actually is.

I have to say I'm loving the freedom of pastels. I started out in graphite (a whole year ago :lol:) and I'm such a perfectionist that I've had trouble making myself loosen up a little. Pastels have really helped me with that so far. Maybe too much. :lol:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jul-2010/190630-pasteltree2.jpg

Dougwas
07-11-2010, 10:16 PM
Ruthie- I like the changes. The painting seems to have more depth now. These photos are not the easiest I've seen. Makes me long for the frog.:D

Colleen- I like the different point of view. The tree looks great with the light hitting the left side. Good job on the sky holes too.

Shannon- I came to pastels from graphite as well. The one thing I can tell you is, when you have a pastel stick it your hand, think of it as a paint brush instead of a pencil. I hope that makes sense. You are painting, not drawing. It took me quite a while to get that through my head.:o

Your painting has good depth with the background trees and hill blended and less focused. The field is very well lit. Keep at it.


Doug

Judibelle
07-12-2010, 08:16 AM
Ruthie....I do like the 2nd version better...love the brightness.
Winecountry...beautifully done!
Shannon....Nice soft look to this one.
Doug...The trees are done very nicely...and nice bright sunlit field!
All are doing so very well....
Judi

SonyaJ
07-12-2010, 08:01 PM
I finally found some time to take part in one of the Spotlight challenges again! I started this earlier in the afternoon and finished it just a bit ago.

I liked the simple shapes and strong values in Paula's reference photo here, so I chose it to start out with.

I was trying to steer away from the local colors and wanted to go with a more brown/gold/purple palette (as per the underpainting), but it didn't work out that way.

Surface is 140# cold press watercolor paper with Golden pumice fine grit. It's the third time I've tried this homemade surface. It definitely works best with an underpainting, I've found.

Trying to get the subtle shading on the proximal stand of trees was my biggest challenge, along with the sky holes.

Size = 11x14". Pastels - Unison, Sennelier

Alcohol wash underpainting:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2010/187416-P1010003.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2010/187416-P1010007.JPG

C&C is welcome.

ArbySD
07-12-2010, 08:36 PM
This is my second attempt. The first one was a riot of purples, turquoise and green, but I ruined it with fixative. Grrr... :envy:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2010/215751-stand_of_trees_small.jpg

I like this one okay, but it has a similar color scheme as my other landscapes. I am trying not to do things the same way.

I'll get back on and comment on the other paintings when I can make some sense.

tvandeb
07-12-2010, 08:47 PM
Wow, really beautiful ones from the last time I posted!!!!:clap: :clap:
I have to admit though trees do intimidated me a bit. Sure wish one of you more experienced pastel artist would do a demo on doing those pine trees or trees like them; working on the trees by the lake and can't seem to get it right. I'll keep trying and post it tomorrow for some suggestions. :confused:

Paula Ford
07-12-2010, 10:52 PM
Ruthie, You're a nutty girl if you think your beautiful painting is boring!!! Your second version looks more autumn and is much more high key. Love them both!

Doug, Fabulous! I love that yellow in back of the reds and greens. Great color!

Colleen, Lovely, lovely piece! I love the perspective on the tree. It's beautiful!

Shannon, You'll get the hang of it! Your piece is nice and soft. Very nice!

Sonja, Very realistic! Don't you just love an alcohol underpainting!?!

Robin, I love the colors in this last landscape. Beautifully done! (P.S. That's why I don't use fixative, unless it's in an underlayer with Spectrafix.)

Still working on the demo. Stay tuned...

robertsloan2
07-13-2010, 10:12 AM
Ruthie, the brighter photo is beautiful. I liked it even in the dark photo but I can see how much it lost in the darkening, as well as how great your changes are. Nothing about this painting is boring or dull. It's wonderful. I love it. You really did justice to it.

The bands of color and value are fantastic. The whole scene is so lively and those flowers in the foreground are jazzy. I love the focal tree, it's so inviting. I want to be out there relaxing in that field.

Walk away from the painting and get out a fresh piece of paper! Try a new one. If you're tired of doing landscapes, maybe you could challenge yourself on the next one by adding a couple of deer or other animals. Or figures, like a kid playing frisbee with a dog.

If you were trying for Charlie's crazy color madness, then go back to Charlie's method and try using more complements where you're muting colors. In the next one though -- this one's perfect as is. I can see that if you were trying for something as saturated and intense as Orangerie, this isn't that style -- but it's so beautiful I don't want to see you mess it up. So try again on a new one and reread her still life class.

Colleen, that is gorgeous! I love your foliage. The lacy texture with all those sky holes is delightful. The sky is wonderful too. The looser foreground pushes attention up to the tree and the light, it's gorgeous as it is. I don't know what you don't like about it, like Ruthie, you've got me scratching my head as to what you don't like! It's beautiful.

Shannon, yours is looking good. I see what you mean about the overblending, but that's easy to fix. Try scumbling a few accent colors here and there, then add some small expressive strokes to pick out details and jazz up the colors and contrasts in the focal point. Then don't blend that last layer. It's pretty easy to correct overblending with one more layer and the results can be dramatic. It's looking good but I can see your paper would hold another layer easily.

Sonya, yours is moody and powerful. I like the sky holes breaking up the mass of dark shadowed trees. They look mysterious and magical, yet the sky holes keep them from being too monolithic. This is splendid -- so many paintings here are so good and yet all so different.

Arby, yours came out great too. I love seeing the differences when artists use the same reference and give it a completely unique look and feel. Yours isn't as moody, it's more cheery with all your saturated colors. I can see how you'd be frustrated if you wound up doing the same things you always do when you wanted to try something different. Maybe on the next one you'll open up a different palette, but this is gorgeous as is.

I still want to do one, but I'm waiting for a day when my arms don't feel like lead and the pain isn't banging away at me. It's been rough lately. Never realized July could be as hard on me as winter but this year it is.

Devonlass
07-13-2010, 11:27 AM
Ruthie, I don't think your picture is boring at all. I particularly love the way you did the shadows.

Here's my effort. I constantly struggle to work in a looser manner, but it's an ongoing battle!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2010/141077-Field_in_Tn1.jpg

Dougwas
07-13-2010, 03:07 PM
Sonja- Thanks for showing us the underpainting. You did a great job on this. You nailed the value of the foregroung grass. Your trees look very good with the sky holes. Nice colouring in the sky.

Robin- Very good aerial perspective. With all those cool colours, the warm green grass stands out nicely in the sun. I like your palette.

Carol- Your painting looks fantastic. You handled all those greens very well. I really like your tree shadows.


Thanks to everyone for your comments on my first painting. Here is my second one. It is painted on 9.5 x 11.75 sienna Pastelmat using a variety of softies.

Thanks for looking.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jul-2010/102199-July_13_Spotlight2.jpg


Doug

Paula Ford
07-13-2010, 10:01 PM
Carol, What a beautiful piece!! You are loosening up beautifully!

Doug, Really nice!! Love the colors on the ground!! It definately says "full sun lit field."

SunFace
07-13-2010, 10:33 PM
Wow, what an active thread. Is so hard to keep with everyone! I am at awe of all the work here. Trees with pastels I think are so hard …

Carol, beautiful work!

Doug, I Love how you did the colors!

Sonja. I really like the sky.

Robin, the colors on yours are also very beautiful.

Ruthie, I do not see anything boring with yours! Is a beautiful piece too!

Judibelle
07-14-2010, 07:22 AM
Carol...I think it is lovely...Well done.
Doug...Lookin' Goood...i like everything about it!
Judi

Elcoll
07-14-2010, 07:58 AM
I love the play of light on your piece....i agree with everyone here, you're way too hard on yourself. I'm hoping to get something posted here by the weekend...and, I'm sure I'll be hard on myself. Artist's curse? Oh, well.

So here's my first of the month. It's about 5x8 on fisher 400 and I used my small sets of art spectrum and sennelier except when they didn't provide the colour I needed. This took me about an hour. The shaded side of the tree is still not dark enough (tho' I've darkened it) but I'm off to work on my Swan again now!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jul-2010/189061-IMG_5244.JPG

Elcoll
07-14-2010, 08:01 AM
colleen,

your first piece is my fave...the "blurred" edges are what intrigue me. You've done a great job with atmospheric perspective. The other two are lovely as well, but number one draws me right into it.

Linda
One of my new year resolutions is to get started on mastering landscape, so I can put my birds and animals in nice enviroments. I've never been much good at it, so the only way it to just paint more, This exercise is such a good place for me to start. I'm thinking of doing each in oil too so I can get the hang of both media, and start some plein air this year.


I looked over all the listed artists, some really are inspiring....but my results here are mostly just copying styles of other artists I see trying to find something that works. Reading the Secor blog was a big help too.


I notice that the artists shown onsite painting were not exactly painting what they saw, but changing it so I put the photos in PS and manipulated colors and crops, haven't quite faced the green demons yet...skipped out by changing seasons or time of day:lol:

I used my new pastelmat for the first two, wow love the surface, would be good for detail work esp IMO. and color fix for the last one, all small works about 6x8 (small works are so frustrating in pastel for me) but didn't want to use the pastelmat big until I experimented...it's very expensive.

these are OK but not very exciting IMO...the last one is better so maybe it's just more practice.

Colorix
07-14-2010, 08:07 AM
Ooo, great paintings!

Tammy, great greens!

Greg, hi and welcome! Wonderful painting!

Colleen, great group. 1, lovely soft morning, low the colours. 2, same for this one, great reflections. 3, just glows! Love the single tree! (Umm, Paula decides how she wants her Spotlight to be, but the general idea was that we work from the given pix. Ask Paula.)

Ruthie, the autumn feeling of the trees and fields are lovely, in the first version, not boring at all! (I used to think landscapes were utterly boring, but decided I’d be the kind of allround artist who can paint anything, so I did only landscapes for a few months, and found that I’d fallen in love with them. It sneaked up on me, while I was busy.) The second incarnation is even lovlier!

Doug, oooo, love the yellow field, and a very nice shimmering effect! The next one, with one tree, it also glows! Wonderful effect.

Shannon, gorgeous greens, they layering makes them glow!

Sonya, thanks for the underpainting. The painting is beautifully dramatic *and* serene!

Robin, lovely!

Carol, Gorgeous light!


I've not even started, yet, melting in a heat-wave.

Charlie

Elcoll
07-14-2010, 08:28 AM
too bad about the fixative....I used it one time and hated the result so I feel your pain. The foreground of your painting is beautiful.

This is my second attempt. The first one was a riot of purples, turquoise and green, but I ruined it with fixative. Grrr... :envy:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2010/215751-stand_of_trees_small.jpg

I like this one okay, but it has a similar color scheme as my other landscapes. I am trying not to do things the same way.

I'll get back on and comment on the other paintings when I can make some sense.

Paula Ford
07-14-2010, 12:54 PM
ATTENTION EVERYBODY!!! The Demo is up here http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8886388#post8886388

robertsloan2
07-14-2010, 01:30 PM
Carol, yours is beautiful. I love the texture of the field. I don't think you need to loosen up so much, it's got a great texture. The colors are rich and gorgeous. The colors of the shadows are lovely too. The only problem I see in it is the direction of the shadows - the ones going to the right aren't consistent with the light direction.

I had that problem for a long time so I know until you get used to it, that's really hard to see. Deborah Secor suggested in her video to just mark an arrow outside the painting with the light direction before starting, that worked for me.

Doug, your second one is wonderful. It's brimming with color, it's so lively. The only suggestion I have is one I should listen to myself for the one I'm doing -- a few sky holes would help on the trees.

Paula, thank you for linking to the demo! I'm off to enjoy it now before I attack the first primed page in my pastel journal. Yep, yesterday I did the Colourfix priming -- chose Raw Sienna, a butterscotch color, so that I'd have a warm color to put all those greens on.

Devonlass
07-14-2010, 05:23 PM
While I admit my shadows aren't very good, I went back and looked again at the photo and they still appear to be going to the right to me. Am I missing something??

I've already watched your demo Paula........really great!

Dougwas
07-14-2010, 06:14 PM
Carol- The shadows were very confusing to me. I think (and that hurts) the shadow on the middle tree is from a tree to the left that it not in the photo. So, I read this as either early morning, or sunset with the sun on the left side. So, I think you got it right. I just decided to make things easier and put the sun to the right and make up the shadows on the left.

Robert- Thanks for the reminder of the sky holes. I read your comment and then took a look at Paula's demo. I think it should sink in now.

A big thank you to everyone who looked and commented on my two paintings. It is greatly appreciated.


Doug

ShannonRae
07-14-2010, 07:57 PM
Okay, this is my last one for this month. Here's to hoping next month will be less green. :lol: Thanks to everyone who has commented and offered advice and encouragement on my first two paintings, it's really greatly appreciated and I'm hoping it all starts to sink in eventually. I'll just keep plugging away. :) Much like my last two this one looks better from across the room than it does up close, or in a photo, and the color in the photo is a bit wrong.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jul-2010/190630-pasteltree3.jpg

Paula Ford
07-14-2010, 08:21 PM
Okay, this is my last one for this month. Here's to hoping next month will be less green. :lol: Thanks to everyone who has commented and offered advice and encouragement on my first two paintings, it's really greatly appreciated and I'm hoping it all starts to sink in eventually. I'll just keep plugging away. :) Much like my last two this one looks better from across the room than it does up close, or in a photo, and the color in the photo is a bit wrong.

Shannon, That's exactly how it should look ... better from a distance!!!

As Richard Schmid says "up close-nothing, far back-everything." That is why you stand and back up several feet to view your painting.

Beautifully done!!!

robertsloan2
07-14-2010, 10:45 PM
Shannon, it's elegant. I love the rich strong colors and beautiful masses in it. You're right that it looks stunning from a distance, even with the photo distortion you mentioned.

SusieGS
07-15-2010, 06:18 PM
Well, here is my attempt! Can't remember the last time I did a landscape, so here it goes.....Strathmore paper ( don't like it much, but have a lot left) in a pale peach, rembrant (love em) and grumbacher (they're okay) soft pastels, some generic harder pastels I've had for years, and some of my conte pastel pencils. Please, all feed back and critique are welcome!!!!

SusieGS
07-15-2010, 06:50 PM
Question... about signatures.... I've just been doing my initials (SMG/S), my name is SO long!!! Susan Marie Gordon-Smith. I don't want it to take over the paintings.....opinions????? :)

robertsloan2
07-15-2010, 08:09 PM
Initials are great. That's what I do too, developed an angular monogram with my initials connected. The main thing about your signature is that it has to be recognizable and easy to do small with something broad like a pastel stick.

I like your painting. The hedge is particularly attractive, I love the way you show it curving and three dimensional. The warm greenish blue of the sky is charming, the sky holes in the main tree are fascinating, the other more distant trees more lead toward it than away from it. Beautiful painting.

ShannonRae
07-15-2010, 08:09 PM
Question... about signatures.... I've just been doing my initials (SMG/S), my name is SO long!!! Susan Marie Gordon-Smith. I don't want it to take over the paintings.....opinions????? :)

Well, it's your signature, I reckon you can sign it any way you please. :)

Nansketch
07-15-2010, 08:14 PM
I've enjoyed studying everyone's work -- hopefully I've picked up where I left off and didn't miss anyone, apologies if I did.

Ruthie, your's is definitely not boring -- I really like how you've done the foilage -- your update has wonderful colors
Colleen - your grasses are lovely and I especially like the leaves on the light side (left) of the tree
Shannon - I really relate, coming from graphite - also where I started and color really scared me. I am finally getting a bit more comfortable. Great depth on your first and like your colors on both.
Sonya -- think you've done a wonderful job and really like the space/sky holes in your trees, very effective
Robin - your color choices are very effective.
Carol - wonderful light!
Doug - love your bright color choices -- very fun
Susie- wonderful job with all this detail -- very impressive

I found time for one more -- I really pushed to do something different for me, so please let me know what you think. C&C welcome.
9x12 on salmon pastel card - had a hard time getting the colors right in the picture - think I am close

thanks for looking
Nancy

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls-5.jpg

pastel lover
07-15-2010, 10:13 PM
Hello Everyone,

Susie - Beautiful work.
Nancy - This is gorgeous! So colorful.

This is my offering for the month. I decided to kill two birds with one stone & used this photo for the demo in the pastel class I am teaching. Done very quickly for me (about 90 minutes) ...forced myself to quit before end of class. I still see adjustments to be made. One question - my photo editing program died & I downloaded one for the net. Does this look extremely blue on your monitor? IRL the lg tree mass is navy, green & purples. Does it read right? Thanks for your help.

Tanja
489015

SusieGS
07-15-2010, 10:13 PM
Robert-Love your signature! Reminds me of the one I worked up for my weavings! Thank you for your lovely compliments, so glad you like the hedge. I was worried I'd gotten it a bit too square. :) I was also concerned the sky was too intense. You jumped right on the two things I was most unsure of....Thank you!!!

ShannonRae- :D

Nansketch--Thank you!! I love yours, too. I'm trying to talk myself into going looser, and playing more with colors like you seem to have done so effortlessly. Beautiful soft mood there!

SusieGS
07-15-2010, 10:21 PM
Tanja, I'm seeing the navys, greens and purples, looks cool and shadowy (is that a word? :) ) Love the sun lit field, and the colors of your foreground!

pastel lover
07-15-2010, 10:46 PM
Hi Susie,

Thanks for letting me know it is reading somewhat right. Must be my monitor, it is probably going out too. HA

Tanja

SunFace
07-15-2010, 10:59 PM
Susie, I love your piece, is so vibrant!

Tanja, I really like the colors here.

Nancy, I love the impressionist style!

:clap: :clap: :clap:

The work here is amazing!

Colorix
07-16-2010, 11:04 AM
Shannon, beautiful greens!

Susie, looking good! The big tree and the hedge are my favourite parts, very nice.

Nancy, great light, wonderful atmosphere, love the colours!

Tanja, it looks great! Although, honestly, I think it looks too blue, it has that "all over blueness" of the whole picture, not just extra intense blues. I see only french ultramarine and green in the trees. My monitor is well calibrated. The histogram shows the blue spiking, too. Lessening the blue component turns the darkest blue 'blobs' into violet. Hope that helps.

Charlie

Ruthie57
07-16-2010, 12:01 PM
Oh sorry folks. I was going to comment on all the great new work on here but I've run out of time. Off to my Sister's in London in an hour and tomorrow we're going to france for a week. See you when I get back!

pastel lover
07-16-2010, 03:28 PM
Thanks Charlie. The all over too blue is way my monitor reads also and that is NOT the way it is IRL. It is colorful but not all blue and not neon. Think I will have to purchase a new photo editing program. Thanks again.

Tanja

winecountry
07-16-2010, 03:45 PM
France for a week! Bon voyage....:envy:

Lots of interesting and instructive work and posts here, thanks for all the work everyone has done

I have the hardest time following directions...can do it once or twice,then just have to see what else or how else it can be done...so sorry if I'm off topic here, but thought this might be of interest.

I def cannot work with much enthusiasm from other's photos...and even my own are not generating much right now....so decided to try something I've seen and heard of called Notan... you can look up that word on various threads, so wont explain much here except to say it's reducing whats in front of you to 3 or 4 values in shapes.

I took a series of photos and did a sm plein air last winter of a beautiful moment, but haven't been able to paint it, (just starting landscape)....so since there are lots of trees in it, I took those photos as is, and desaturated in PS then posterized to 4 levels, it makes a perfect notan...then pulled out some pastels and organized a small group I call landscape. I pulled from that 4 values, not paying any attention to color, and did 4 small works on a sheet of 9x12 colorfix took about 30 min in all....
Now I feel like I'm learning something about how to see which is what I need before I can do a decent tree....here they are in notan and now I'll work them up to color and finish... I like the warm colors I chose on the upper right, just a random grab...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jul-2010/103030-notan_marine_preserve_pastel.jpg

Dougwas
07-16-2010, 10:48 PM
Shannon- I like your use of colours. The sky on the right side looks very bright. No doubt where the sun is.

Susie- I like how you made each tree a different shade of green. Good job on all the planes of the hedge.

Nancy- I like the cool red trees with the complementary warm green grass. The blue sky completes the primary colours.

Tanja- Even with the 'blue' look, you can tell that it is a well painted painting. Your good use of values has the field all aglow.

Coleen- The notans look very interesting. Good luck with the paintings.


Here is my painting of Don's photo. I did a watercolour underpainting, which you can see only in parts of the water. I was having trouble with the values, so I did a PS notan. I greyscaled the photo to 4 values and finished the painting just looking at the greyscaled photo. It was fun, so I am going to try that again.

This is on 6 x 9 UArt 500 gritt paper and I used a variety of softies.

Thanks for looking.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jul-2010/102199-July_16_Spotlight3.jpg


Doug

pastel lover
07-16-2010, 11:16 PM
Very nice piece Doug. I love the color of your water, it really shimmers. Also like your handling of the light, the foliage with those flecks of orange and the tree trunks. Just enough detail to indicate the trunks but not overpowering. I always make mine too dark & have to change them.

Tanja

ShannonRae
07-17-2010, 06:01 AM
Nancy -- I love that! The colors are wonderful, it's got a dreamy quality that I really like.

Tanja -- It does have a sort of overall blue tinge, though not overwhelmingly.I can definitely pick out the colors you've used. To me it just looks shadowy like early morning, and the sun hasn't quite reached our side of the stand of trees yet.

Doug -- Beautiful light in this.

winecountry
07-17-2010, 04:24 PM
Finally this is tree thing is coming around....a real tree, monterey cypress, that lives alone on top of a windswept bluff at the Bodega Headlands in No California, a place where I go to watch cormorants, pelicans, gulls, oystercatchers, and other wonderful birds....Being a real tree, that I've sketched and photographed helped a lot

I also got the typical light there overcast and foggy flat light that is so hard to get right, I almost did here...

just to finish the notans now and that will be it....I learned a lot this month...thanks for all the posts and works posted.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2010/103030-cypress_tree_bodega_head_pastel_2310.jpg

Turpintine45
07-17-2010, 07:20 PM
Wow everyone is doing great works and such a variety. Sorry I haven't been comenting on everyone but great job each and every one. Thanks for the demo too Paula.:clap:

I did this one today and started with an underpainting in pastel on which I then used a turpintine wash. I took the photo before the wash as I kinda liked it and was tempted to go with it with the bright colours. I wish I had stayed with that idea now as I struggled with the greens. This is as far as I got today and will finish up next week when I get to the studio again. I'm not happy with it and had to spray the middle tree as I ran out of tooth but I thought I would post anyway.
9 X 12 wallis with various pastels
CC welcome, Jen
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2010/216461-IMG_3934_Medium.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Jul-2010/216461-IMG_3936_Medium.jpg

ArbySD
07-17-2010, 07:24 PM
I think the challenge must be working. Look at all of the gorgeous trees! I swear I've been "oohing and aahing" at each painting like I am watching fireworks!
Nancy, those red trees stopped me in my tracks. I love the color and all of the emotion. It feels like a dream.

Susie, yours is so serene. I love the turquoise sky and foreground flowers.

Tanja, the color may be skewed, but it is gorgeous non the less. Lots of contrast and atmosphere.

Doug, your last tree just sparkles with light. You've managed to capture that late afternoon light that makes things magical.

I'm sorry if I've forgotten anyone. I've been slinking off and fooling around with other art supplies. Don't tell my pastel box! :eek:

Jen, you snuck in there as I was posting. Beautiful color! I hope you do another one with the bright colors. It would be really interesting to see.

Nansketch
07-17-2010, 09:04 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments, much appreciated.

Tanja -- while I agree it is blue -- the values are very good and the trees-- and the sky holes -- all very good. BTW, I've looked at it on two different computers and strength of the blue is different on each one.

Coleen -- your studies are interesting, thanks for showing them. Now your cypress, I really like this -- I can feel the wind moving thru the landscape

Doug -- you've done a great job on the light on this tree -- beautiful and only 6x9.

Jen -- Wow - I love the underpainting -- very strong, I can see why you like it. I also like where you are in the painting -- its got a style that I like and how you've done the sky.

Nancy

Paula Ford
07-17-2010, 09:14 PM
Susie, Very nice piece! I love how you cropped the photo and brought the scene up close.

Nancy, Beautiful colors! Love it!

Tanja, Beautiful blues against the yellows! Beautiful piece!

Colleen, I appreciate your efforts, but we are painting from the photos on page one. Please start a new thread with your notans/paintings in the Pastel Studio. Thank you!

Doug, I love your tree!! Beautifully done!

Jen, WOW! That’s quite the underpainting! Turned out beautifully!!

winecountry
07-17-2010, 09:21 PM
sorry Paula, I thought it was about trees...feel free to delete my other posts...
I'll know better from now on....I'm just not good at connecting with photos as my sole ref esp when they are not one's I've taken so I have no idea where they are or what the light and conditions were... Maybe some time we can have a thread where we post our own ref and do that, and allow others to share it...

Its been a great month, thanks to all, and your WIP demo was just fantastic.


Bye:wave:

Mary Y
07-17-2010, 10:35 PM
Ruthie, I think your tree painting is beautiful.Certainly not boring, it is full of beautiful sunlight.

Doug,I love the bands of colour in your first painting,your style is quite distinct.
The second also has lovely colours and the third is really beautiful with the light shimmering on the left side of the tree.

Colleen,I like how you changed the angle of this painting. The tree is beautiful, lovely light on the leaves at the side.
Your windswept cypress is also very nice.

Shannon , Your painting invites me in, I could imagine walking in the long grasses.

Sonya, Just beautiful.I hope you have framed it.

Robin,Very nice ,I like your colours .

Carol, Great range of greens and the light in your painting is beautiful.

Susie,Your large tree is lovely and I like how you painted the hedge. I will be looking at it closely as I would have deleted the hedge if I painted this particular reference picture.

Nancy, Glorious colours, they work really well together. I really like this.

Tanya, Lovely peaceful painting. It is a little blue on my screen.

Jen, The underpainting worked really well. Lovely greens in the trees.

Hope I haven't missed anyone .
Paula your demo is excellent I hope to try and paint it again this weekend.

Paula Ford
07-18-2010, 10:27 AM
Thanks Mary! I'm headed to my studio right now, but haven't decided which one to do yet.

pastellady
07-18-2010, 12:32 PM
Wow, great paintings this month. So different and creative. Enjoying watching from the sidelines(so to speak).

Great demo, Paula-Thanks,

Jennylynne

Elcoll
07-18-2010, 03:59 PM
I'm posting this, but I hate it....way too overworked. On to number 2....

Paula Ford
07-18-2010, 04:23 PM
I'm posting this, but I hate it....way too overworked. On to number 2....

Linda! :eek: Why do you hate this piece??? It's gorgeous!!!

On second thought, if you hate it so much, I'll give you my address and you can send it to me :D

It's really beautiful... sign it and frame it. Oh, I really love rustic frames... hint hint

SunFace
07-18-2010, 05:45 PM
Colleen, Shannon, Sonya, Robin, Carol, Susie, Nancy, Tanya, Jen, all the work is amazing!. :grouphug:

Hope I haven't missed anyone . I can hardly keep up with this thread!

Paula thanks for the demo. I have learn so much with you, Charlie, Don, and Robert. You people are my art angels! :angel: :angel: :angel:

Elcoll
07-18-2010, 11:14 PM
Paula, you made me smile. Pastels are my first love, but I haven't yet managed to tame the beast....but I keep trying.

Everyone's work here is so wonderfully diverse. It's such a pleasure to see all the work. I'm glad I came here. It's very motivating trying to keep up with everyone.

Linda! :eek: Why do you hate this piece??? It's gorgeous!!!

On second thought, if you hate it so much, I'll give you my address and you can send it to me :D

It's really beautiful... sign it and frame it. Oh, I really love rustic frames... hint hint

Elcoll
07-18-2010, 11:15 PM
Doug, I love your treatment of the water....it sparkles.

Elcoll
07-18-2010, 11:17 PM
I LOVE THIS PAINTING! From your color choices to the directional strokes you used....it's quite striking.
.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Jul-2010/141858-jul-ls-5.jpg[/quote]

Mary Y
07-18-2010, 11:24 PM
Linda,
I think your trees are beautiful. I would love to have painted them like this.
My first attempts at that reference have become part of my ever growing heap of colourfix for recycling.Any tips on how to stop the paper bucking after I have scrubbed it would be much appreciated.

This is my first painting on Uart 500. 7" X11" and I loved using it.
Beautiful surface and my TLs felt really good.(I didn't enjoy how they felt on Colourfix.)A mixture of Rembrants ,MVs, W/Newton and TLs.
I think I fiddled too much with it at the end.
C &Cs would be appreciated as I would really like to paint trees in a landscape.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Jul-2010/100777-IMGP6252.JPG

Dougwas
07-19-2010, 12:44 AM
Jen- I love bold colours, so that means I love your underpainting. It served you well, with this lively painting. The warm greens and yellows pop nicely and the violets and cool greens/ blues are muted on the shade side. Way to go.

Linda- You have a beautiful painting. Your trees look fantastic. I wish mine would look like that. I know it is easy to be hard on yourself, but you have no reason to be. Keep it up.

Mary- One goal down.:thumbsup: You did a fine job on your tree, with the well lit left side. You also got the sparkle in the water. I knew you could do it.


Thanks to everyone for your comments on my paintings. This has been another fun month fot The Spotlight.


Doug

Colorix
07-19-2010, 10:04 AM
Doug, lovely tree, great to check the value and use notan!

Colleen, interesting shapes.

Jen, great glow from the reds! Can wait for the finish! The reds make the trees simply glow!

Linda, it looks great, serene and calm, beautiful! Doesn't look overworked on screen, looks misty.

Mary, great tree, you're winning over trees!


And one of mine. I call it "Green Grass of Home". My challenge to me was to focus on greens, and then also to change the scene a bit. I lost the very angular hedge, for example.

Pastelmat Sienna (looks more like terracotta to me), as it was to be about greens.
30x40cm, about 12x16"
Rembs, Senns, AS, TL, and Unisons.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2010/117343-Green-Grass-of-Home-Herczfe.jpg

C&C always welcome!

Charlie

robertsloan2
07-19-2010, 10:30 AM
Catching up after being mostly offline yesterday and day before... wow! So many good ones and the variety is getting incredibly wild. Charlie, I love this. It's as amazing as Orangerie. I love the wild colors in it and the way you've used pinks and violets to make those greens so intense. I think it's all the pinks that make them pop. The hazy blues and violets in the shadows are gorgeous.

I wish I had a bigger house, honestly. I have Orangerie though, looked up at the wall at it and smiled. What I need is an art museum and the budget for one.

Mary, yours is striking too. I like your foliage texture and the smooth blending on the background areas that gives it some distance, also the atmospheric perspective is very effective there.

With everything I've seen on the past two pages, I think what I wish is that some museum would do a showing of all of these together -- they are so cool and seeing the different versions together is inspiring.

Today I'm going to start on mine. Inspired by Charlie, I'm also going to use a pink stick in it. But first I'll do a notan.

Paula Ford
07-19-2010, 10:38 AM
Beautiful job on that scene Mary! No crit here. You handled it beautifully!

Charlie, Always a treat to see your colorful paintings! Lovely piece! That road just leads us right into the painting.

Dougwas
07-19-2010, 01:09 PM
Charlie- I want to walk down that path. Way to take a reference photo and make the changes you want. The path leads you into the painting. I love the shadow from the grass on the path and the sunlit tree and grass on the right. Another beautiful painting, Charlie. Thanks for sharing.


Doug

robertsloan2
07-19-2010, 05:11 PM
I actually got started. C&C gratefully appreciated. I've gotten this far with it, sort of doing Charlie's method from memory but slid from stage 2 into stage 3 on the latest stage.

First, here's the notan:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2010/70184-1st-Spotlight-July-2010-Notan.jpg

That helped to lighten up and get me started. Also to remember which direction the light's coming from on everything.

Here's the substrate, a primed 6" x 8" painting area done in Raw Sienna Colourfix primer on 140lb watercolor paper. The adjusted scan is very close to the true color of the primer. I decided to work on a warm color because I'm doing a lot of greens in it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2010/70184-First-page-Pastel-Journal-primed.jpg

Then stage one, a really ugly abstract underpainting done with color Conte hard pastels. I mean hideous. I don't like this style of abstract and probably never will, but here it is. Yuck.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2010/70184-1st-Spotlight-Stage-1.jpg

I followed the notan pretty close in terms of dividing up areas of the painting and chose colors more or less by value, leaning warm in the lit areas and cooler in the dark ones. The trees and hills are the darkest. The land is medium light and the sky the lightest, just like Carlson, with some medium darks in the foreground and a few deep darks at the very bottom that I might knock back and lighten in the final.

Then I did stage two but couldn't stick to it and started finding bands of color as well as changing the colors to be truer to what's going on. I didn't scan at stage 2 even though I did do a stage 2, I kept going except that in the foreground area I broke up the vegetation into more areas than I had in the stage one stuff, which is more like stage 3. So I went back over the trees and hills and sky again after I did that.

So call this stage 2.5 maybe. I have a long way to go before I have a finished stage 3.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2010/70184-1st-Spotlight-July-2010-Stage-2-3ish.jpg

This is also in color Conte. The paper has enough tooth to stand up to it for a while, but I might switch over to Art Spectrum and Rembrandt from here on, since I have a slightly wider range of colors and values using those. Lovely deep darks in the Art Spectrums box and a good variety of tints in the Rembrandt box (a vintage set that an oil painter gave me because he tried them and hated pastels).

Suggestions, critique gratefully accepted! I'm not happy with my sky holes at all, something looks weird about them. I might have to go dusting them out back to the clean paper to do them again.

chuas2
07-19-2010, 05:14 PM
Wish I had time to comment on all the paintings, WONDERFUL trees and such individual styles, each beautiful in it's own right.

Charlie, as usual a stunner!

I'm totally bogged down in my 9-5 with NO time for painting. :(
Hope to get caught up in August!
Chuas

Robert, we seem to have cross posted. I think yours is striking, and I LIKE the underpainting. The sky holes I think would be more uniform in color, with the color varied, they look more like blooms. But close...

Dougwas
07-19-2010, 05:28 PM
Good start, Robert. The greens look great over top the blue. The sky holes might be a shade darker than the sky. Maybe figure out what colour the sky would be behind the tree and go a touch darker.

To bad that work is getting in the way of painting, Chuas. I hope you can find some time to do some painting. Good luck in finding the time.


Doug

Turpintine45
07-19-2010, 08:27 PM
Thanks so much everyone will try and live up to your expectatons when I go back to it!

Linda[B] I love the sky and the cool of your trees.

[B]MaryY Your tree really stands out and looks like it belongs. Nice job with the greens.

CharlieYour colours really pop. Love the bright greens, yellows and oranges with the cool blues. You are where I want to be as far as colour! Keep posting and I'll keep trying.

Robert I love what you are doing and the bright underpainting. Yours is going to be beautiful and bright. Jen

Paula Ford
07-19-2010, 10:19 PM
Robert, Excellent preparation! Love the bold colors!
May I suggest instead of wiping the sky holes out, sculp them by painting negative space. In other words, paint the trees around them to shape them. Looks great so far! You are too critical of yourself at this early stage. Have fun!

robertsloan2
07-20-2010, 01:32 AM
Paula, thanks! I'll try that on the next stage. I managed to change the color on some of them and get them looking better, closer to the area of the sky nearest them -- but that change isn't enough for a scan by itself. Tomorrow I'll work on building up foliage around new ones.

Doug, thanks. Your suggestion helped a lot, they don't look nearly as bad. I got some of them a little large now so Paula's idea will let me go back into them and make them work better too. Between you, that may solve the problem. I know I never do the sky holes and that they should make it look a lot more true than my previous trees.

Turpintine, thanks! I hope so. Working on that, let's see how it looks tomorrow.

Colorix
07-20-2010, 04:57 AM
Thank you so much, guys! It looks better IRL, less... spotty. Robert, it is from the same place as Orangerie, the park/nursery garden of Rosendal (Rose Valley), the same flowers, actually, but from another angle, the orangerie is to the behind left. We had a bunch of PA artists a century ago, and they also thought it was way too much green in the summer, just like me. One even travelled over the country, following fall as it crept down from the far north-- just to get colour!

Robert, looks good so far! I'm with Paula re sky-holes, sculpt the tree around them and they'll look fine. Mine looked like yours, until I worked the tree around them. I 'cheat' with large skyholes, sometimes, and put them in at the start, but not little one's like these. The light is a bit 'funny' in the ref, as it is not so sunny, there is a cloud shadowing the tree. Very good bold notan shapes!

Charlie

Mary Y
07-20-2010, 10:56 AM
Charlie,
Your "Green Grass" is beautiful, I love the colours you used and main tree foliage is stunning. Excellent example of perspective with your various receding trees.It has a lovely inviting pathway, makes me want to step in and wander along it.

Robert,
This is very interesting .I must say I don't see your underpainting as ugly as it is a means to an end.
It is starting to come together and I am looking forward to seeing what's next.
Cool pastel sketch book,I like how you left a border.
I struggle with sky holes(only learned of their existence a few months ago:o )
so I enjoy seeing how to do them.

Doug, Charlie, Robert, Paula and Jen thank you for taking time to look and comment on mine.

robertsloan2
07-20-2010, 01:12 PM
Wow, thank you! Charlie, I wondered if it was near that area. It's so beautiful.

I scanned two images of my finish -- this is really the rest of stage 3 plus some stage 4 details because there wasn't much to stage 4 at all. I wasn't trying to do it as a demo so I didn't distinguish the stages that clearly.

But I think it worked! C&C appreciated of course.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2010/70184-1st-Spotlight-July-2010-Finish-Pending-Crits.jpg
Summer Breeze
8" x 6"
Color Conte hard pastels, Art Spectrum and Rembrandt soft pastels
Raw Sienna Colourfix sanded primer on 140lb cold press watercolor paper.
Photo reference by Colorix.

And here's how it looks in my homemade pastel journal:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2010/70184-1st-Spotlight-July-2010-With-Border.jpg
You can see the sheet of glassine taped to the right edge, opposite the spiral binding. It's flipped behind the painting for the scan and now flipped over it, then tacked down with just a small bit of the same artist's tape.

My experiment for a pastel journal worked!

Paula Ford
07-20-2010, 01:22 PM
Absolutely beautiful piece Robert!!

winecountry
07-20-2010, 01:27 PM
bravo Robert, and very instructive

Deborah Secor
07-20-2010, 01:27 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2010/70184-1st-Spotlight-July-2010-Finish-Pending-Crits.jpg
Summer Breeze
8" x 6"

Wow--Robert this is wonderful!! Now, just simplify the sky holes on the blue side, taking the sculpting of the trees over them a tiny bit farther. Maybe tap the pigment down in place, if needed to flatten it. I don't think it's color or value--they seem right on--just a bit too many interesting strokes there. The color of the sky is great, and I especially enjoy the foliage in front. This one should be framed! :D

Deborah

Dougwas
07-20-2010, 03:42 PM
Robert- Beautiful painting. There is so much mood to it. The tree is well done and the foreground foliage looks fantastic. Way to go, Robert. I am glad you had the energy to paint.

Doug

robertsloan2
07-20-2010, 06:13 PM
Thank you!

Deborah, thank you for that suggestion. It's such a minor change -- didn't even take flattening it because I hadn't yet oversaturated the paper with pastels. But it made so big a difference I could see it on the thumbnail when I was opening it to rename it and post it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2010/70184-First-Spotlight-July-2010-Fixed-Secor-Comment.jpg

It made a huge difference. I love it. That perfected it, what a transformation from fooling with an area maybe all of half an inch square.

I also forgot to mention. It's subtle, but His Hairiness the beautiful Ari cat helped with this painting. He gently smudged the upper left corner of the sky when I was done with the sky yesterday. I kept the cat print because it was subtle and I love him. But here it is outlined in case you have trouble finding it. Someone on my Pastel Journal thread asked about it and couldn't find it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jul-2010/70184-First-Spotlight-July-2010-Fixed-Secor-Comment-Ari-Print.jpg

Mary Y
07-20-2010, 08:43 PM
Robert, A very beautiful painting.
As Deborah said,
. The color of the sky is great, and I especially enjoy the foliage in front. I have had difficulty painting a realistic tree behind the main one, yours is lovely.
My eye keeps roaming through this finding new pieces of gorgeous colour.
A wonderful start to your pastel journal. However I do think it needs to be cut out and framed.
Thank you for showing your steps.

Nansketch
07-20-2010, 09:41 PM
This thread just gets better -- wonderful work from everyone. Thanks to everyone for your comments, this was a lot of fun for me and very challenging.

Linda -- This may not be what you wanted exactly but I really like its softness.

Mary, I think you've gotten a really good feeling of distance (I really have trouble with that) and the water has a little sparkle to it.

Charlie -- beautiful -- love the composition and colors are wonderful -- but I always love your color palette. So much light.

Robert -- this is gorgeous!!! Seems like you really pushed yourself and it was worth it -- the colors are beautiful and I love the sky. Now, I'm not sure it is fair for you to have an assistant, Ari -- but he did make a very impressive stroke.

Best,
Nancy

Elcoll
07-20-2010, 11:13 PM
It's a little difficult keeping up with this thread and commenting on everyone's paintings. I'm going to need to keep a notepad handy to jot my comments for each painting before I post... Suffice it to say, that they're all so different and beautiful.

Robert - that simple tweaking of the sky holes did the trick. I especially love the foreground.

Charlie - the colors in yours are so lively.

Paula Ford
07-20-2010, 11:26 PM
It's a little difficult keeping up with this thread and commenting on everyone's paintings. I'm going to need to keep a notepad handy to jot my comments for each painting before I post... Suffice it to say, that they're all so different and beautiful.....

Charlie - the colors in yours are so lively.

Linda, May I suggest if you're going to write a long reply, open up your wordprocessing program on your computer and type it in there first and then just copy it to reply here. In the past few weeks I've written huge replies and then Wetcanvas got stuck or went down right when I hit reply and lost everything! Just a warning!! :eek:

Colorix
07-21-2010, 06:33 AM
Hi gang, thank you for the very nice comments on my effort!

Robert, that little change really made this painting, it is wonderful, glowing. Absolutely, frame it! It should not sit hidden in a sketch-book. Your trees are wonderfully rounded and three dimensional, as they 'fold back', or 'round back' into infinity, great edges there makes it work so well! Plane change indicated by colour change, and soft edges does the job! Possibly one of the best I've seen by your hand.

Charlie

robertsloan2
07-21-2010, 03:14 PM
Wow, thank you! I'm tempted. But I think I'll keep it stored in my sketchbook at least until I've got the rest of my matting and framing done. I'm still backed up by half a dozen matting and framing projects, though they're all small. When I get past that backlog I'll think about it.

Of course that raises the bar for the rest of my pastel journal, doesn't it? I'd better go on using sky holes and improving my colors.

Special thanks to those that like the foreground. By the time I got to doing it, I ignored the reference and started putting in flowers of my choice just because it looked as if it wanted them. A completely intuitive series of decisions, it looks like that worked!

Turpintine45
07-22-2010, 01:29 AM
Great job Robert and the addition to the sky holes did indeed make a big difference. Your trees are wonderful I wish I could get there but my Nellie is not as inspirational as Ari! Jen

robertsloan2
07-22-2010, 11:19 AM
Ari sheds virtual Cat Hairs of Inspiration on you through the network. You can do it! Skim over Charlie's still life class and then read Paula Ford's thirty days trees thread, she put in a lot of information on how to do the sky holes.

They'll be easier for me on the next one since I'll only put deep interior ones in at the start and make them large so that I can drag foliage clumps over them. Foliage is fun (and not covered in the still life tutorial) so I'll say a few words about it. Doing short irregular strokes and squiggles in several colors to fill areas makes a nice foliage texture.

Blur your eyes and look at the tree. Then block it in with the main areas of dark and light, highlights tend to be crescent or blob shaped and shadows tend to be crescent or blob shaped. Make them irregular, if they're too regular in the reference either the tree is a clipped piece of topiary or it should be adjusted. Pay attention to which way the light is coming from.

Foliage is actually sort of like spongy blobs stuck on the branches of the trees, each one with a shadow area and highlight. Gaps between them show clumps on the opposite side of the tree or shadowed foliage from other vegetation behind it. The main thing is to be consistent with the light both in which side of the blobs gets the highlights, and the shadow of the tree falling opposite the highlights.

The easiest lighting is above and clearly to one side so that the highlights all go on the light side and shadows stream off to the dark side. Sometimes it's hard to tell, but picking a "light from side angle" reference helps make it a lot easier.

Then fill in those sketched blobs first with an underlayer and then with scribbly short strokes going every which way the way leaves do. It comes out as a great texture. My oil pastels video on trees shows the same technique with oil pastels. I do them the same in oil pastels or soft pastels so the video will show you the strokes. It's in the Videos section on my oil pastels site on my signature.

robertsloan2
07-22-2010, 11:27 AM
Thank you! Ari sheds virtual Cat Hairs of Inspiration in your general direction. Two things about trees that made a big difference for me.

One came up in Scott's tree studies thread -- he did a tutorial on oak trees that was wonderful. Look for the "balloons" or blobs of foliage as masses, blur your eyes to see them. Sketch those irregular shapes in - they work best as odd shaped blobs each with a highlight, mid tone and shadow.

Keep the light direction consistent and then shade each blob or balloon with shadow colors and highlight colors. Don't be afraid to use violet in shadows. It goes great with greens and if you skip blue that double secondary combination zings and really looks good. White and light tints show up sometimes on highlights because direct sun can reflect whitish on leaves, but sometimes they look yellow or intense yellow-green if the sun's coming through them.

If you pick a photo with strong lighting off to one side that does make it easier to see the modeling shadows of the foliage, get the blobs more or less right. Don't be afraid to adjust their shapes to make them less regular either, that can help if a tree looks dull.

Then everyone explained in this thread that sky holes are easier if you spread out the branches working around them after the sky's in. Also they look better if they are a little darker than the sky but the same hue. Put in the sky holes, it made this one come out a whole lot better than my previous trees.

robertsloan2
07-22-2010, 11:28 AM
Sorry for the double post there, didn't realize my first one went through before my access dropped. But I rewrote it from memory in the second one so maybe together they'll get the idea across better.

ArbySD
07-22-2010, 08:31 PM
Robert, I just got done mailing off 19 little paintings for the ATC primary color exchange, and every one of them came with free cat hair!

Paula Ford
07-22-2010, 10:47 PM
Robert, I just got done mailing off 19 little paintings for the ATC primary color exchange, and every one of them came with free cat hair!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

robertsloan2
07-23-2010, 12:13 AM
Robert, I just got done mailing off 19 little paintings for the ATC primary color exchange, and every one of them came with free cat hair!

Aww Robin, I should have joined the primary color ATC exchange to get the cat hair with my painting! I was tempted but already in one.

SunFace
07-23-2010, 12:31 AM
Robert, I think your piece is gorgeous! I love the colors, the boldness, the bluish background.

Such an awesome job! :clap: :clap: :clap:

tvandeb
07-23-2010, 07:43 PM
I haven't been here since the first part of the month, busy with other projects. Just went thru all the pages I've missed, wow, stunning paintings on these landscapes!!!!:clap: :clap:


I finished this one finally, did the landscape with the wild flowers, wow, what a tough one. I did it on colourfix sanded paper, 5" x 7" , wished I done it on velour or pastelmat, sanded paper is kinda hard for me, oh, well. Done with pastel pencils, various soft and semi-hard pastels. Thanks for the great refs this month.:)

Paula Ford
07-23-2010, 09:03 PM
What a lovely, happy painting Tammy! Beautiful flowers!

SunFace
07-24-2010, 12:15 AM
Very nice Tammy. I really like your composition.

Turpintine45
07-24-2010, 01:04 AM
Well here is mine finished although i don't think I really improved it all that much in fact I think I messed it up:eek: Jen
9 X 12 wallis with various pastels. CC"s Welcome

[IMG]http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jul-2010/216461-IMG_3942_Medium.jpg

Paula Ford
07-24-2010, 01:08 AM
Honestly Jen, I think this piece is really beautiful!!

Turpintine45
07-24-2010, 11:56 AM
Sorry Tammy I didn't comment on yours. I think you have made a bright,sunny, happy painting. I love the flowers. Jen

Turpintine45
07-24-2010, 11:56 AM
Thanks Paula for your comment. Jen

robertsloan2
07-24-2010, 01:38 PM
Tammy, that is delightful! I think despite the trouble you had with the sanded paper, you handled it well. The painting is so cheerful and lively, it's gorgeous. I smiled as soon as I saw it. Nice depth and distance too.

Jen, wow! Autumn in late afternoon when the sunlight turns gold and gets intense, that light is so wonderful. I like the blue and gold-orange color harmony. I love the feeling of stillness and peace in it. Gorgeous reflections, your water reads very true.

SunFace
07-24-2010, 04:04 PM
Jen very nice. Love the yellows. Very fitting for the next season!

Dougwas
07-24-2010, 04:30 PM
Tammy- You did a very good job, painting from a very difficult reference photo. It has a very happy mood to it. Well done.

Jen- I still like it. It has a very good sense of light. You didn't mess it up.


Doug

Nansketch
07-24-2010, 09:26 PM
Jen -- This is lovely, I like the colors and especially like how you've handled the water.

Tammy -- oh, I agree with Doug, this was a very difficult ref, yours has wonderful distance, colors, love the flowers.

Nancy

Mary Y
07-25-2010, 12:05 AM
Tammy,
I think you painted a delightful painting from what I have found to be a very difficult reference.My first attempt on Canson was binned.

Jen, I think this turned out beautifully -- not messed at all, and I love the light you have in the trees.

Dougwas
07-25-2010, 10:57 PM
Here is another one. This one was started with a pastel and alcohol underpainting. The rest was done with my new half stick Unison set. I love them. No dust and beautiful colours. I am happy my wife TOLD me to buy them. I always listen to her.:D

This was done on 12 x 9 UArt paper. I didn't do any drawing for this one. I just blocked in colours for the underpainting before adding the alcohol.

Thanks for looking.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jul-2010/102199-July_25_Spotlight4.jpg


Doug

Paula Ford
07-25-2010, 11:17 PM
:lol: You're a good husband to listen to your wife :lol:

Excellent piece Doug!!! I love how to background trees recede... perfect!

I see you didn't ask for critique. Would you like some?

Dougwas
07-25-2010, 11:26 PM
Always a good husband, Paula.:angel: I forgot to put c & c welcome. Yes please, I would love a critique.

Doug

Paula Ford
07-26-2010, 12:04 AM
Ok, there are only two things I would change if this were my painting. One, the skyholes all look the same. Some will be little tiny spects and others will be bigger. They will also all be different shapes. Remember that sky holes will be a bit darker in value than the sky in back of them.

Also, the sky looks just a bit flat. I would add a slightly darker value up near the top of the painting (and maybe just in the upper right corner), and a bit lighter near the bottom of the sky, but be very subtle. That will give your sky a bit more depth.

But, as I said before, it's a great piece Doug!!

Dougwas
07-26-2010, 01:48 AM
Thanks, Paula. I will make those changes. IRL the sky holes are darker than the sky. I think this month of working on trees is paying off. Small step by small step, but it's coming. Thanks.

Doug

robertsloan2
07-26-2010, 06:43 AM
Doug, that is so beautiful! Paula is the queen of sky holes, listen to her. I'd just add that making some of them connect with the edge help too -- like leaving little fjords in the outer edge. Shading the sky the way she described is gorgeous. I learned that years ago and now I'm seeing variations like using pinks in it, which you did in a gorgeous way here.

Your foliage texture is magnificent and that far hill is misty. Perfect atmospheric recession. The near ground is lovely too.