On Tuesday, I taught a group of three experienced oil painters who are interested in learning more about pastel. In the first class, we used direct application of pastel on the brown Pastel Premiere. This class was about hard pastel underpaintings on UART. I chose a photo that was primarily in greens and oranges. It was mid October and the colors were starting to change but there was still a lot of green. I like the shapes in this composition and the way the raised areas of the cranberry bog lead the eye to the two small buildings that are in light and shadow. The light hitting the tall grasses and strafing the foreground was particularly beautiful.
My initial thinking on the painting was to limit it with greens and oranges, a favorite color combination. But I thought it needed a little more punch, so I decided to add blue violets as well. I used a primarily warm underpainting with the dark violet in the foreground and in some of the shadows.
For the buildings, I began with a light aqua, then added very light orange on top and used a mid-value blue violet for the shadows. While I used Giraults for much of the background trees and the light and shadow on the bogs, the foreground was done with the turquoise and orange Blue Earth pastels. Their range of values for cool greens is really nice and made it a real joy to lay in the foreground.
Cranberry bogs are a great subject for paintings and I’ve done a number of them. In the winter, they are red and quite spectacular. But I really loved the colors of this autumn bog. This was the first time I had seen this bog as it is in back woods, well off the road, but I grew up down the street for a bog that looked pretty much like this one!