This week, I went outside with Barbara, who showed me what plein air painting is all about. I have only started to understand oil paints recently (the ideal for painting outdoors since they don't dry up), so I had no interest in painting myself, but watching her was exciting. Also, she encouraged me to bring my oil pastels to try to work on something while I had her to watch & guide me. I didn't have my camera that day to show you what it looked like for us, but above is the final outcome of my piece. It was a study of a pine tree off in the distance. It didn't look like this in reality, but I was challenging myself to work with simple shapes and understand the concept of tones, texture, color, and a focal pint. This little baby measures about 5x7 inches and it took a good 90 minutes.
Here you can see the design aspect of the piece. Barbara and I mapped it out with pencil on a tiny scale before committing to the art medium. This was very helpful. We talked about the dark, medium, and light of many aspects. Tone was really where I put a lot of time (in the top box). The bottom box indicates the color plan I made before putting pastel to paper. The value of this exercise made it so while I was making the piece, I didn't have to make choices. I just had to follow my plan.
I really like how it turned out for being my first serious attempt at a study of something. I certainly learned a lot, and it felt better to do something that didn't look as child-like as the first pastels I made with Barbara.
On another day a couple weeks ago, I made this cute graduation card for my sister, based on my father's day card design from last year. Instead of a paper airplane, it was a finger puppet graduate. It was really funny and cute. (Apologies for the fuzzy photos.)