I’ve spent this week working on a big piece for my upcoming exhibition in Charles Gilmore Fine Art starting on 14th June. This was a photo I took from my studio with a long lens. The two seagulls were being particularly co-operative.
I tend to photograph everything I think would make an interesting painting be it an attractive composition or nice light. This lay on my camera since last Autumn and it was only when I had a closer look I thought it was really something worth doing.
Hope you enjoy the progress, for any pastellists I’m going to talk about how to build up the depth of field.
|The finished painting (no name yet) 27″x19″ pastel on velour|
|My reference photo. I’ve changed nothing except
I photoshopped the green hook further up the roof so
I could crop the photo better. As you can see
I really heightened the colours to liven it up.
|My line drawing of the rooftop and seagulls in place. The background
is pretty loose so I’m just going to block it in as I go.
|The sky area has had several coats of a light pastel
rubbed softly over the surface and lightly rubbed
in. This puts a grainy mist over it giving it a more
distant look. This is what I’ll be doing to each layer
to knock it back into the distance.
|Working my way forward. I’m being as loose as I can
be with this background. I’m also standing to work at
this which is unusual to me but it helps me to loosen up
the marks and not get too fiddly at this stage.
|Now I’ve got this middle band of the painting in.
I’ve used little flat diagonal strokes to build up the colours
in the trees and buildings.
|Small circular motions to gently blend this top layer
in. I can rub heavier in areas that I want more of the colour
underneath to come through.
|I’ve moved onto the trees in front now just taking
it one strip at a time and working from dark to light.
|Both seagulls in. Lots of very small detail on them
as they’re quite small within the image. I really
liked their attitude though and think I’ve been overlooking
birds as really good subjects to paint.
|Painting in the evening sunset…it could be a late
night with all those roof tiles!
|I’m using a black Faber Castell stick to mark in the main shapes
of the tiles and add the dark tones. This makes it easy to come along
and lay the colour on top.
|Using the side of the pastel to cover a large area with this undertone.|
|Then lots of patience needed to go back and strengthen the dark
areas, add the lighter tones and lastly those bits of moss! It’s just
repeat now until the end…
|So nearly there!|
|Close up section|
Hope you enjoyed the progress. I’ve really loved doing this painting and have learned a lot from it. If you’re near Belfast next Saturday 14th June 2014 you can see this and many other pieces in my show with fellow pastellist David Sweet in the Charles Gilmore Fine Art gallery in Belfast. Would love to see you there!