Into the Light

Into the Light, 12" x 16", UART 400

Into the Light, 12″ x 16″, UART 400

Underpainting, hard pastel and alcohol

Underpainting, hard pastel and alcohol

After my recent paintings, that required a lot of drawing and concentration, I decided yesterday to do something that might be a little freer in nature.  I had been wanting to paint this scene from a bog in Marion, MA taken last Oct.  I liked the composition and the placement of the light.  I had a 12 x 16 mounted UART board and decided that I would begin directly by applying blocks of hard pastel–no drawing.  It worked fairly well, but I can’t say that I was terribly pleased with the underpainting.  In retrospect, perhaps one brown pastel applied with more or less pressure might have worked nicely.  But, it didn’t matter too much as I covered most of it up.

I used a combination of soft pastels and Giraults to lay in the sky and trees in the upper part of the painting. I tried to keep the strokes fresh and not overdone, particularly with the pine in the upper left corner.  Then a variety of cool and warm greens for the foliage and grassy roadway at the bottom.  For the sandy soil area of the path, I used a combination of grayed green, grayed red and blue violet.  Then used a very light pinkish Schmincke for the pieces of light.  The color was just right–light but not as warm as the yellow above.

The grasses on the left had a lot more light on them in the photo, but this could have been a distraction with the main area of light in the upper right, so I kept them a little muted.

This is not an award-winning painting!  But it was fun to do something a little more spontaneous and I may give this more effort.  I’m struggling a bit at present to find subject matter to paint.  This winter has been cold, wet, and gray and totally uninspiring! Sometimes I look at the amazing detail in many award-winning paintings and think I could be happy trying to achieve that.  But I know that I don’t really want to go that route. I call myself a “painterly realist” –not a photo realist — and I want to keep that in mind.

Anybody else having issues with subject matter or style?


2 thoughts on “Into the Light

  1. Yes. I have gone out to take reference photos twice and nothing appealed to me. I’m struggling too with finding subject that is inspiring.

    • Thanks Frankie. Sometimes when there is lots of sunlight, winter can be really beautiful, particularly buildings in light and shadow. But it’s been too cold to think about taking much of a walk! I just want to huddle in my studio!!!

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