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Old 11-02-2015, 06:26 PM
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naglel naglel is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Jay I am actually working on a piece but am short on some colors...went shopping today but none to be had in town...trying to work with what I have for now....Thanks for the kind encouragement...and don't let Blayne fool you...I've seen his work, pretty amazing!
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:21 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Someone's talking about me behind my back. (But thanks, Raini! Your work is awfully good, too. When you post the next painting, it will probably make me want to find a bar--the kind that serves liquid refreshment.)
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:27 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Thanks all for your comments! Still feel it was cheating a bit...maybe I'll have time to do a new one, once I get a commission finished.
Jay, I am most impressed with yours. It doesn't look at all dark in the image. Full of light and colour in fact. I love the loose but believable treatment of the trees. Good work!
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:49 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Thanks Ruth. I hope you do another. You do such beautiful work.

I'd love to know what colors everyone uses for blue skies. I have such trouble with that. I think it's a quest for me!!
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:10 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Here is my first attempt at a landscape with pastels, little bit of a learning curve...I was running short on some colors so added a touch of CPs , this looks way more intense on my screen, suspect my scanner makes it too bright!
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:14 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Both paintings are beautifully fall colored, and nicely painted.

Jay - I agree with Karen regarding the values of the shadows, and adding a few ripples.

I have another suggestion for future paintings from photos: recompose the photo! Although the one you chose has many positive attributes, if you look closely you may notice the tall spires of trees are almost equidistant from one another, and "march" right across the skyline and out of the picture plane in the corner. (You did however, take care of the disappearing out of the corner problem though. ) Did you do a few thumbnail or somewhat larger sketches for the composition before starting the painting? This is an exercise even many experienced artists still do to some degree. My students eventually learn through trial and error that the first thing to do is have a good sketch for composition followed by a gray scale drawing before ever getting to the "fun" part of color. They save themselves a lot of time and effort if they are completely comfortable with getting those two elements right before starting the painting. Do them in a scale that will be the same as your finished painting. i.e. if you're finished painting is going to be 9x12 for instance do your sketching and value study as 3x4 or even 4.5x6. Use one of three means to determine the division of space and subject placement; dynamic point, division by thirds, or the golden mean/golden section.

Maybe I'm throwing too much at some of you right now. So... I'll be painting the lovely single tree, and post it as a WIP. I will begin with the sketching, and define some of the terms I use just in case there is someone who doesn't know what I mean.

I'm looking forward to seeing what others so with these lovely photographs.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:37 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Jay I just saw your post regarding the color of skies. I'm afraid the answer is "it depends". It depends upon where you live or where the photo was taken, the time of day, the weather, the season of the year; my Pacific Northwest skies tend to have a green cast due to the out-gassing from trees, Montana tends to have cooler, more cobalt blue skies, New Mexico skies are often more ultramarine blue, etc. If you look at the skies in the photos presented here you will see none of them are exactly the same blue. When working from a photo that you didn't take and don't know where it is, choose one pigment you like and work it in different values; darker at the top and lighter at the horizon. Try to make all four "corners" of the sky slightly different in appearance because that will add interest, and actually the way the light refracts is different. In the photo you've used there really aren't four "corners", but you can get that lovely smooth blue that will make your oranges pop by using a blue that compliments the orange you've chosen (think Munsel color theory).

I hope this will get you started. Feel free to ask more questions, and I'll try to help. I gotta get dinner started now.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:35 PM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Ruthie, I remember this lovely painting! The fact that you did it without a reference is really stunning!

Jay, very nice painting! I agree that darker reflections will give the bright leaves of the trees more punch due to the contrast. As for blue skies - well, as Peggy mentioned, they can be lots of different blues! Almost any blue works because people know skies are blue, in my opinion. In our Spotlight on Skies, I believe we discussed how the blue varies, usually darker and more intense away from the horizon. It's often also warmer near the sun. When I paint in oils or acrylics, I usually mix blues - perhaps a phthalo or cerulean mixed (in other words a blue leaning towards green) with an ultramarine (which leans towards violet). More Ultramarine at the "top" and more cerulean as it heads towards the horizon. I think a touch of a magenta or pink near the horizon works well, too. That's just one approach, of course.

Raini, This is a lovely landscape! Wonderful for your first pastel landscape!

Don
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:48 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Raini, your first landscape! It's beautiful. I love the leaves that appear to be backlit. I was hoping the find a reference like that. And how do you scan a pastel? Doesn't it get all over the scanner? Your painting is just beautiful.

Peggy. Thank you so much for taking the time. I must confess to proudly doing a tiny scribble of planning sketch. Then I used a few marks of charcoal to divide up the space. Further refined those divisions with some watercolor, just a bit. I vaguely planned for the leftmost yellow tree to be center of interest but I think the pink one took over. I would love to see your step by step demo with explanations. That would be wonderful. I would love to see how you would do the reference I did!
The blue. thanks for the explanation.

And to you too Don. Thanks for the reference! And the comments. (Hi Sammy!) thanks for the sky tips. I love doing skies but always struggle to find the blue. I suspect the blues that Terry L makes are a bit gray. Each painting is a learning experience. That's what makes me keep coming back. Thank you Don for these Spotlights. They, and the participants, are my teachers.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:15 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Thanks Jay, I used a fixative on it which seems to work really well without darkening it much. I love working with the pastels tho I wish I could take some classes..making marks look like leaves nearly drove me to the bar that Blayne is threatening to hang out at lol!
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Old 11-04-2015, 08:03 AM
kedwards kedwards is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

I am new to the board and to pastel painting. This forum has been a great resource and this thread a wonderful motivator to try something I'd been a little intimidated by (the chaos of color that is fall foliage).

The paintings you all have done are so beautiful, inspiring, and educational. Thank you!
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:51 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Kedwards here is a suggestion on learning to control color. Start with a simple image such as a pumpkin or pear. Use the real thing if you can rather than a photo. Set it in a place where you can control the direction of light, and place it against and on an off white surface (so you can see the true color of the shadows). If you can get a natural light light bulb, do so and shine it on your subject. Raise and lower the light until you have a good, interesting shadow. Now select three to five pastels that are different values of the same color (orange for the pumpkin). Select some that are a warmer orange (more towards yellow-orange) and some that are cooler (more towards red-orange). If you look very carefully at the shadow, on a white or off white surface you should see that the shadow is a greyed color of the orange ("grey" in this instance would be towards blue, but not actually blue). You also notice that the shadow is darkest directly under the pumpkin, and gets lighter as it goes forward until it disappears into the surface of the white table cloth.
Once you learn to identify and apply the colors in this simple lesson, you will better understand how it works in more complicated images.

Fell free to PM me anytime you may want to have a private discussion.
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:39 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

Kedwards, welcome to pastels. I hope you'll join us often in the Spotlight. We are a friendly group so please feel free.

Peggy, I enjoyed your pumpkin lesson!
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:53 PM
kedwards kedwards is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

It does seem like a great community, Thank you Jay and thank you Peggy, for the great tips.
I meant that I faced the challenge and tried my hand at foliage, as I had been limiting myself to less complex subjects (at least in terms of color) much as you mentioned (or simplifying complex ones). I dont think I have picture uploading priveleges but I just wanted to jump in to express my appreciation and admiration for the paintings that have beem shared. It is fun and educational to see the different approaches.
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:06 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - November 2015 - Fall Color

I just read the other day that you can load a picture after your second post so now maybe you do have privileges. Good luck with posting
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