Original Pastels on Paper in the works

Original pastel on paper – I’ve been doing a lot of pastels on black strathmore, but there is something missing, the darkness makes the colors pop but the light from pastel on white creates a light that shows through. Each process has it’s own plus and minus.

The wren on a rain barrel is a painting from an idea that has been waiting for more then thirty years to be finished. The original was on a large dark underpainting that turned into an autumn scene.

Dark purple background where leaves were supposed to be falling on water instead became the backdrop for a forest and then a log in a small stream. The idea went into the redevelopment stage and  has been silent for many years.

Wren on rainbarrel -  Original pastel on paper
Wren on rainbarrel – Original pastel on paper

The reason for the original idea, which didn’t include the wren, was how the ghosts of past autumns rise and fall beneath the surface of the water. It is probably the reason I started painting water in the first place, like the night sky there is something mysterious about the two different planes that react-the surface, the darkness beneath and the light above.

The next pastel is still a work in progress-it is capturing light on the water and how the sun appears bluish beneath the white but there is no ability to look directly at it, I wanted the viewer to feel the feeling of squinting the eyes to look at the scene.

I want the light to be tangible and almost adds another dimension of temperature to a flat plane. I am still in the process of working the darks against the lights.

Original Pastel of sun on water
Original Pastel of sun on water

The last pastel is something I want to do more of. I liked the dark brown beneath and how the two figures jump out of the background. I love the way portraits force perfection, there is no good enough, it either resembles what you are seeing or it doesn’t.

My ability to see detail has improved and portraits are much faster than they have ever been with no initial sketching preceding the final image. Without the initial sketching for placement, it makes for a cleaner less overworked image.

A poem on the subject