Friday, 30 April 2010

pastel landscape painting - a failure

I did originally say that this blog was about the trials and tribulations I encountere in my art work. I do show a few failures but generally try to keep the real no-nos to myself. This was a special case. I had selected a reference to paint because it had such a wonderfully coloured sky. I spent the best part of my art group meeting this past week layering several colours into the sky

after the storm

before adding a distant line of hills and the yellow on red middle distance. The final touch would have been the dark ( black) foreground and the trees and foliage, bringing the foreground and the sky together. But before I got to that last part, I began to have doubts about the sky. I do wish that I had taken a photo of it to illustrate the point, but it looked ( not to put too fine a point on it) rubbish.

Now I have to admit that I use fixative .....shock, horror... I build up my pastels with several layers of colours often stating with a contrasting or even complementary colour. The first layers are fixed and then The top layers can be left fresh, and there is little danger of mixing the colours as the later pastels are added - no smudging. You can see an example of this in the yellow on red middle ground. I developed this technique from painting pastel abstact paintings where the possible texture/granulation was a large part of my style. BTW my fixative of choice is the cheapest hair-spray I can find in the local supermarket.

In this case, it may just have added a bonus. Because the innitial result was so awful, I decided to use a kitchen tissue to rub off all the sky and start again. The fixative does stop accidental smudging but cannot cope with a determined effort. Of course the board was stained with the colours and the rubbing provided a high degree of mixing. BUT I was amazed, not what I had set out to do however there was a very useful looking sky. I added the purple clouds, keeping them low key, and was very pleased with the outcome. A happy accident you could say. I then finished off the foreground and showed the piece to my colleagues who seemed to agree with me.

the painting is approximately 14x10 inches

I hope you find it to your liking and would love to hear your comments. Just shows that sometimes a little luck is all it takes. Thanks for looking.


Clare said...

It wasn't luck, it was you not being happy with something that made something, if you get my drift.
I love you work!
The more we explore ourselves the more we create:)

Artyfax said...

Thanks Clare, but my first thought was to tear up the thing and start again from scratch. I would not have ended up with this, so I guess a little luck was in the background.