Wednesday, April 7, 2010

pastels and oils

I have noticed that, while I have always considered pastel to be my preferred medium, I learn much more by working in both oil and pastel(separately.) Explorations that hinge on each medium's unique strengths allow me to go farther and on different paths with the other medium. I am recognizing that the way I glaze with only dry pastel (no watercolor) is closer to the way I use oil. In oil I am discovering that making strings of colors and pre-mixing my palette is closer to my way of pre-choosing pastel sticks and helps color harmony. Whistler did it... why not me? It doesn't take away from spontaneity, it allows spontaneity to have a cushion in harmony. hmmmmmmm.
I took this photo of the river when I was there. No wonder I can't use photos.


Donna T said...

I am so glad you can't use photos! Your painting is almost an abstract and yet those delicate colors explain what is happening. I'll have to try pre-choosing pastel sticks since harmony is at the top of my wish list. Oh, to answer a question from a few days ago, I sand my own surface with one of those foam blocks after I apply Golden Fine Pumice Gel. It seems to leave just a hint of tooth but not so much as to eat up tons of pastel.

Nika said...

your painting is superbly harmonized and in the way of light is more descriptive then the photo. I can't paint from pictures either, but I find that after staring at my subject for an hour or so, it's all in my head anyway:)

Casey Klahn said...

I am in a series, now, of the Hoquiam River that is a combo of memory, observation, and supported by photos. I can't be there, as it is across the state. Every time I go, I drink up more imagery, though. I'll be back there later this month.

This pastel has the extra depth of that bend, which places you at a different spot on the river. Very subtle, and I admire the split of the blue (green shade) from the violet.

SamArtDog said...

This photo may not help with color, but that's what makes it such a good reference for value.

That flooded water looks like ice. Thankfully, it's not. You're lucky; we got snow again last night.

loriann said...

Hi Donna, Your sanding of the tooth sounds like a great way to control your surface. Since you pastels are so beautifully delicate it seems very important.
As for pre-choosing definitely helps color harmony. You can still pull a few that are just "needed" and you didn't anticipate.
Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Nika, You're so right. If you spend enough time looking it is there. It's funny I find that if I look and write about it I never really need to refer to my notes. I think the kinesthetic aspect of writing outs it in my memory.

Hi Casey, Photos can help.. but not in isolation. It sounds like the image and feel is already in your head. The small specifics can been in the photo.Thank you about the color choices!

Hi Sam!!! I can't believe you have's 90 today..even a little freaky here! No ice....not till next December:-D

Pam Holnback said...

So this post made me think about our trip this June. It will be a little hard taking oils, maybe I should take my rarely used pastels. Food for thought.

Jala Pfaff said...

Excellent painting. Love it. Muted reflections...symmetry...

Very cool photo too!

Steve said...

Insightful comment and like the drawing. I've never used pastels, but have done a similar thing with crayons and colored pencils. Always took them to my kids track meets and soccer games as they were growing up.

loriann said...

Hi Pam and Steve,
Pastels are wonderful for plein air work. Easy to carry, fast to use. A light sensitive touch goes a long way.

Hi and thank you Jala!

B Boylan said...

Hi Lorianne,

Stopped by to see what you are up to. This one in particular is so quiet!

I've often thought that painting with pastels and oils (separatly) is the same as speaking two different languages, but still mean the same thing.

Hope all is well with you!