Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pastels, This Time Seriously

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.)

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