I was commissioned to paint a scene featuring a figure.  Choosing from a selection of photos of the same view I wanted to come up with a pleasing composition to tell the story of the scene.  I’ve definitely drawn some inspiration from Caspar Friedrich’s ‘The Wanderer’ by placing her in the centre of the picture in line with the beam of light.  I think because of the story behind the images I really want to create a calm and tranquil atmosphere.  The photos were taken in the town of Sobra on the Island of Mljet.  If you look closely at her left arm, you will see that it is in plaster cast as
she fell and fractured her arm on the third day of the couple’s holiday.
I hope that the piece brings back the feeling of calm and serenity you can find when sitting quietly in nature.  I’ve enjoyed so much time outdoors this year and I believe it is definitely good for you.  I read somewhere that spending time in a forest actually improves your health.  I tend to agree!
Hope you enjoy the progress of the painting…


The finished painting 27″x15″


One of the reference pictures.  There were others and
between them all I was able to piece together a version
of the scene.  I also used Photoshop to lighten the images
and try to heighten the colours.  I suppose I’ve had to
exaggerate what I can see when painting.


My line drawing on the sandy coloured velour and starting
to mark in some of the cloud patterns.
 I’ve applied thin layers of pastel from dark to ligh, blending
the background blues with my fingers.


Working my way down the image.  I begin the water by
laying down some base coats.  All my layers are pretty thin
so I’m not filling the paper.  It’s more like staining the paper
at this stage.  I get heavier handed with the soft pastel as I
add more layers of pastel on top making sure they are well
pressed into the paper.
Working in sections and keeping the marks horizontal
but running at a slight diagnol to the horizon line.
 Working the foreground and beginning the detail in the
figure.  I loved the stripe of her dress and how the white
stripes look many shades of blue when in shadow.


  The piece finished and framed.