I was asked to create a long panorama of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare for a couple who got engaged right there!  I loved having an excuse to work big again and this is 36″ wide by 13″.


The finished painting, pastel on velour 36″x13″


Having sketched out the cliff face to get the perspective I’m
making sure here that the horizon is level and at the golden
ratio point which is about 0.61.
Working on the sky.  I don’t have one photo to work from for this
as the clients wanted more muted tones.  So I’m creating a
sunrise colour scheme although at this stage the yellow sky
looks a bit strange!


I’m working the land from farthest away.  Each layer of land will
have a mask of pastel applied over it and blended in slightly
to give that effect of hazy morning light.


The waves make a nice sweeping motion around the bay here
adding that sense of perspective.  Here I’ve just
given myself some directional lines to keep me right when
I come to do the waves.


Working more of the land and using a vibrant blue and lilac for the
sea foam in the shadow of the cliffs.  This should contrast well
with the light yellowy shade I use as my highlight colour on
the brightest waves and in the sky.



The cliffs in the foreground will have less of the hazy light on them
just to give that sense of them being closer.  I use a black Faber
Castell stick to block in the darkest areas first.  The rest is all done
with Unison pastels and I didn’t use any pastel pencil in this as there
was no need for such small detail.



You can see my dark bottom layer on the cliff closest to you here.


I’ve then built up the texture of the cliff with angular marks
using purples and yellowy greens.  A lot of the cliffs are made up
of shades of purple surprisingly but this contrasts nicely with
that yellow sky.


The sea is loose and hopefully gives a sense of those waves
rolling towards the cliffs.

Hope you enjoyed the progress of this piece.  It was something quite different for me as usually when I paint a landscape there is some kind of focus.  Instead I feel like this has a calm feel to it with the focus being completely on the drama of the landscape.
The cliffs are a place I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting, but I think I need to go see them in person soon!