Category Archives: Small paintings

Grounds … and difference each one makes to finished pastel paintings.

Yep, changed the theme is … not sure if people like this design, please let me know if you think it’s irritating and I’ll revert back to the old theme!

I did a painting with these chalky soft pastels that I received over Christmas of a Norfolk windmill with storm clouds looming in the background – I thought the dark sky would make for an interesting contrast with the colours of the buildings, bathed in sunlight.   However, I just could not get the intensity of the background right – I was using a watercolour paper and even though this was a very expensive ground, it was completely incorrect for this style of picture.

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Then today I did another painting (larger than the windmill one) of a landscape on precoloured (sand/khaki) roughly textured very cheap paper and the results were noticeably different.  I’m pleased with the way this one turned out, as the reference photo I used was from a very old book I have Scottish landscapes that are now mostly gone to urbanisation and the photo was ‘green’ and very dull.  This one is 14″ x 10″ …

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I should get my new materials, paper etc. next week and am really looking forward to trying it all out.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Footnote:

Due to the fact that the windmill pastel painting was done on watercolour paper, I discovered that by using water, I was able to get a much darker effect with the background.

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I adjusted the other painting (now framed, ‘scuse crap photo) , took out the boats in the right hand mid section of the loch and change the sky (It was very naive in the first attempt).

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Various … oil and soft pastel experiments

‘Oil Poppies’

Approx. 12″ x 8″

Underpainting of alcohol inks, added area of gold metal effect medium, then overpainted with oils (not artist quality) on canvas board.

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I didn’t have any linseed oil or other mediums, as well as cleaning solvents, so was hesitant to try out these oils but then discovered that I could use Baby oil to dilute the paint and to clean the brushes, also much better on the skin!  So far the baby oil doesn’t appear to have created any dull patches – the paint is still wet, I expect it will only be dry and fully cured in a month’s time.   The oils and canvas board came with the set I describe below.

Soft pastel studies – my first attempts using this medium:

‘Dartmoor landscape’ from reference photo in a book.

Approx. 11″ x 7″

Soft pastels (not artist quality) on cheap scrapbooking type project paper (blue).

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‘Orange landscape’

Approx. 5½” x 7″

Soft pastels (not artist quality) on cheap scrapbooking type project paper (blue).

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Footnote:

I was given a compact artist’s kit comprising oils, acrylics and watercolour materials, plus palette and sample canvas boards, sketching pads, brushes, painting knives etc. etc. for a Christmas present.   These sample paintings are the results of playing about with the stuff in the kit.

I have never used soft pastels (chalk pastels) before and am finding them really fun to work with.  I enjoy the way I can layer over the colours and blend to get quite interesting effects.  This has inspired me to try and purchase better quality soft pastels as soon as I can, as well as some good quality paper – I’d like to turn out more impressive work in the future – so watch this space!

I hope everyone who visits this page had a lovely Christmas and everything of the very best fo 2017 – let’s hope it’s a positive year for all of us!

Ink landscapes

Yes, I’ve been absent from WordPress for quite a while … the whole of November has been a bit of a bugger up on my side – mainly because I’ve been in and out of hospital.  I’m on the mend now and getting stronger all the time but it’s been a very long, stressful and  frustrating process, don’t recommend it.

I was doodling about with inks recently, just to see if I could still do something artistic while I was feeling so down.   So here are the results … one (the daisies) was a request from a friend of my daughters, I hope she likes it.

 

 

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