Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Desperate Measures 5x5

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches on U NOT WORKING

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN and brush it off

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches DARK GREEN ACRYLIC applied with a paintbrush over the ghost image. Finally, I am excited about the surface and I begin to imagine a scene. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches SPRAY WET PAINT with water, sprinkle salt, add pastel to creek and sky

Rock Creek Series: #4 ©2016 Barbara Benedetti Newton sold

Monday, September 26, 2016

Photo Reference Rainbow Hill

In response to yesterday's post, I have received requests to see the reference photo. This is a photo we used in my July Studio Landscape Workshop and it is not an easy scene to paint. How much detail? Where is the focus? How does the viewer travel within this painting? All the colors of the rainbow - what to include, what to leave out, how far to push a color?

Photo Reference for Rainbow Hill, ©2015 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Rainbow Hill, pastel, 6.5 x 4.25 inches ©2016 Barbara Benedetti Newton
Yesterday I posted it as 7x5 inches but when I removed it from the backing board on my easel I realized it was not that size.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Paint with me - Rainbow Hill

At our Friday afternoon painting group I started a paint-along-with-me with another artist. This limited me to the colors and only hard pastels that she had. By the time I got home I was losing interest in the piece so I brushed it off and began again.

Rainbow Hill, pastel, 7x5 inches

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rock Creek Series: #2 - Texture

Rock Creek Series: #2, pastel, 7x5 inches
I've been working with alcohol mist for texture. Click image to enlarge.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rock Creek Series: #3 - Painterly

Rock Creek Series: #3, pastel, 7x5 inches
Brushing the pastel off as well as smashing and moving the medium with a plastic spatula gives a painterly look.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Defining my process

Photo Reference for Rock Creek Series
Rock Creek at Abrams Road, pastel, 6x4 inches image
My challenge today was to paint from a reference photo and try to stick as close to the scene as
possible. Not easy after painting all week without a reference.

In the middle of this challenge, it occurred to me that I have developed a somewhat unique approach to pastel painting based on my need to enjoy the process of creating.

I have painted in pastel for many years; I know the medium very well and occasionally I become a little bored with the "traditional" pastel painting techniques. When that happens, I switch to another medium OR figure out new, challenging ways to approach pastel.

My current technique is to brush a painting off - sometimes repeatedly. Depending upon the surface, this gives various effects. I also push pastel around with brushes, Colour Shapers and flexible spatula tools. This week I've also spent a few days exploring alcohol mist.  Changing-up the usual process of working with pastel keeps me engaged and inspired. Brushing pastel off began as an act of desperation when a painting wasn't working but it has become my process. Many times the pastel is moved around so much it loses the attributes of a dry medium and begins to take on the look of oil paint. I will be posted more about my technique in the future.

Each post on this blog that is some sort of pastel tip or trick is labeled with HOW TO PASTEL. If you click on the HOW TO PASTEL label at the bottom of this post, all the tips will come up. There are nearly 100 posts that have some sort of pastel instruction. Some may be useful to you. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Drama Queen

Drama Queen, pastel, 5x7 inches
Fall is in the air and I feel like I am back in school as I prepare for my workshop next week. I'm contemplating the lesson flow for the 3 days we'll be together. It was much easier when I taught all the time and had a 3-ring binder for each workshop. I'm reinventing the wheel but it is challenging and fun.

I'm painting without reference photos until the end of the month. This one, Drama Queen, began with a reference photo last week but it became boring and I got stuck until I put the photo away, brushed most off and began again. Scene of a tree across the lake from us.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My Blue Heaven

My Blue Heaven, pastel
Yesterday I was reviewing all posts on this blog looking for HOW TO PASTEL tips and tricks and I accidentally hit the "publish" button on a post from years ago. Here is the completed painting.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pratiques des Arts Special Landscape Issue

I am very happy to have my work included in the 2016 Pratiques des Arts Special Landscape Issue!

Roberts Road, pastel, 13 x 13 inches,
at American Art Company, Tacoma, WA
Winter Sunrise, pastel, 5x7 inches, available for international purchase sold

Thursday, September 1, 2016

another goodbye

This is an acrylic wash over a painting that never made it to framing. The painting below had a nice part in the middle but nothing else so after trying to add a foreground (which didn't work), I had to say goodbye.  I wiped the whole thing off and applied a blue acrylic wash. Hopefully I'll have a better incarnation of it to post tomorrow.