Yesterday, I finished the day with a sketch on the paper, ready for the next step…color!
I did not get as far as I had hoped on the painting. I split my time between painting and working on another project, which for now I will keep quiet about the specifics, except to say that what I am working on is my biggest undertaking so far. I really don’t have the time to work on it full time and paint too, so for now I need to split my time between painting and a side project. I hope it will come together as I imagine it to be!
Okay, so back to the painting I am currently working on. I have a habit on working on one area at at time. An art instructor at college once told me to think of a painting as my family. All the parts of the painting are my children. I need to take care of all of the children at the same time…and she said I had a habit of only paying attention to one child at a time. In other words, I work on a small area until it is finished, neglecting the rest of the children (the rest of the painting). She is right. I do that. Try as I might, 75% of the time, I work one area at a time. Sometimes though, I work all over the paper, working the values (the light and dark areas) and building the painting as I go. Other times, like this one, I “see” the whole painting as I go and work one area until its finished. Old habits die hard.
I started in the upper left corner of the painting. I did this because I don’t want the pastel dust to fall on a finished painting, or my hand to smudge my work as I go. As you can see here, the very far upper corner and the mahogany shutter is finished. The green shutter is in the process as is the wall around it. The wall around it, is a yellow wall, however, it is in shadow. So I need to blend colors to make it the correct value. I put a rusty brown down first and in the next photo you will see I add yellow over the top along with a charcoal color to darken the area further. Back and forth I go with the yellow and charcoal until I am satisfied with it. When the painting is finished, I will fine tune the values further.
After the shadow was finished, I added the yellow wall under it, the porch, and the railing. The yellow wall is stucco. I wanted the wall to have depth and texture. It is hard to see here but I used three tones of yellow. The first layer was the darkest and then immediately placed the next lightest on top. I then blended with my fingers. On top of that I placed the lightest yellow and tapped it in to create a texture.
Next session, I plan to move across the top of the page and then work downward. I hope you will come join me as I continue to work on the painting.
Each day I will share a tip. Today’s tip is:
If you make a mistake and need to “erase” pastel off the page there is an easy way to do it without creating pastel dust. Use scotch tape. Place a piece of scotch tape on the area you want to remove….use the back of your nail to work the tape into the paper. Lift the tape and repeat with a fresh piece of tape until the pastel is “lifted”. In this painting, in the area on the painting where the wall shadow meets the sun, the brownish pastel worked its way into the area I wanted to be brighter yellow. I didn’t want to fight the brown so I used the tape method to remove the pastel I did not want, leaving a sharper line. So easy and it doesn’t ruin the texture of the paper.
If you have any questions, or would like clarification of how I paint something, just leave a message in the comments and I would be glad to show and tell my process, and answer questions in the next post.