Monday, February 18, 2013

begin with an old painting...

 "Garden Pond," pastel, 10.5 x 10.5 inches.
In-progress photos:
1. I came across a piece of 12x18 inch Belgium Mist Wallis in my flat file that I had used for an exercise in a workshop a couple years ago. After brushing off the horizontal scene, I turned the paper sideways so I wouldn't be distracted by the ghost image of the previous painting. Using a pastel pencil, I indicated an area 11x11 inches and blocked in the lightest areas of a new painting with an oil wash.

2. More oil wash, this time in the darkest value and a middle value (green)

3. After the oil was dry (a couple hours), I began to apply pastel in the darkest and lightest areas of the new painting. The pastel on this one took less than 2 hours. Less is more. Don't dawdle and doodle because your marks become picky and labored.


  1. This one is fantastic, and so well blogged. Fun to see your method (I do a similar thing, but may try your oil wash method, now).

    I also enjoy re-working on La Carte. Anyway, your scene here is very spontaneous and I really love it!

  2. Thanks so much Casey, your comment means a lot to me. By the way, per Google Analytics, many of the visitors to my sites come through your site. Thank you!

  3. Barbara,
    Can you explain the "oil wash" technique? I have used alcohol washes on pastel underpaintings, but what kind of oil do you use?
    Thanks, and the painting is beautiful.
    Jane Penfield

    1. Certainly Jane.
      Oil paints, any color, any professional quality brand. Just thin your color with Gamsol Mineral Spirits or something similar, to the consistency of watercolor and paint it on, allow to dry, and apply pastel on top of this oil-wash foundation.