Media Step By Step Demonstrations
'Autumn, The Hermitage'
reference photograph illustrates perfectly how pastels can be used
for interpreting the autumn landscape. The Terra Cotta ‘ground’
proved to be really effective for enhancing the ‘warm’ colours of
autumn. Note how the subject has been adjusted with regard to composition,
colour, texture and the degree of detail used.
board prepared with white acrylic primer and then two coats of Terra
Cotta 'Art Spectrum', 'Colourfix', pastel primer.
using a selection of Reds, Red Earths, Yellows, Green Earths, Blues
and Blue Violets. At least three tones of each colour are required.
mid tone purple pastel pencil.
One: Drawing Out
mid tone purple pastel pencil was used for drawing out. Only the
minimum amount of information was required, just sufficient to accurately
position the farm buildings and main trees.
Two: The Block In
used two, 'light' tones of Blue/Violet for the sky; Two, 'mid' toned
Red Earths, together with a 'mid' toned Yellow for the trees; Two
'darker' toned Blue Violet for the shadows, and finally a 'mid'
toned Red Earth and a 'light' toned Yellow for the farm buildings.
sides of the pastels were used to create a variety of flat strokes,
taking particular care not to apply too much pastel on the board
in the early stages as successive layers will need to be built up
as the painting progresses. The tree trunks were drawn in using
the end / tip of the pastel.
three: Continue The Block In
'block in' was continued, by selecting three, further Red Earths
for the masses of foliage and branches. Two, 'mid' tone, Green Earth
pastels were used for painting the tree trunks and the foliage mass
on the extreme right of the painting.
sky was taken a step further by selecting a very 'light' Yellow,
together with the previous sky colours, this time forcing a little
more pastel into the surface of the board. This allows the foliage
masses to be modelled by using negative painting.
Four: Develop The Farm Buildings
farm buildings were developed further by using the Red Earth pastels
already selected, supplemented by a 'light' Grey to be used for
the windows and other details. The ends of the pastel sticks need
to be used almost exclusively for this step. To achieve fine lines
I looked for any sharper edges on the pastels, otherwise, I broke
the pastel in half to create the required edge.
my finger, I applied a little 'blending' to the foliage masses.
When using, a range of pastels of similar colour and tone, 'blending'
can be achieved by carefully, 'layering' one pastel into or over
another as necessary.
Five: Continue The Block In & Add Detail
continued the 'block in' as described above and at the same time
I began to work on the foreground bracken. For these areas I selected
three further, Red Earths (one 'darker', for the branches and two
'lighter, for the foliage and bracken), a 'brick' Red and two, 'lighter'
Green Earths for the foreground. I used the pastels in a variety
of ways, using the flat sides in some areas and the tips in others.
To develop the 'lighter' sides of the farmhouse, two further 'light'
Greys were used. These 'lighter' areas of the farmhouse form the
'focal' point so I needed to ensure that they worked effectively
in terms of the 'crispness' of the drawing and the 'light against
dark' tones used.
this stage I made sure that some of the Terra Cotta 'ground' remains
Six: Add Final Detail
stage concerned dealt with the final 'blocking in' and the completion
of the detail. I was careful not to over detail, or make any unnecessary
'marks' around the outside edges of the painting. Over-detailing,
'marks' such as this will distract from the 'focal' point. Probably
the most important part of the completion of any painting will be
the attention to 'edges'. I looked carefully at the painting to
decide which 'edges' were the most important (usually around the
'focal' point), and which 'edges' could be softened, or even lost
altogether. Any successful painting relies on a combination of hard,
soft and 'lost and found' 'edges'. The final detailing should be
concerned with the branches, the texture of the foreground grasses
and the farm building itself.
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