When I am working on a pastel landscape painting, I adhere to certain rules I’ve set for myself. One of these rules is I will not show a painting until I believe it is finished. I’m getting more flexible as I get older though (in my mind, not in my body!), and thought it would be interesting to show you the versatility of the pastel medium. The first image is of a painting I have been working on for more than a week. I’ve even had the audacity to put my signature on it. But there is so much that is wrong with it I can’t bear to put it out in the world just yet.
As sometimes happens when I try to follow the reference photo too closely, the scene just does not work right to express what I feel and what I want to describe to you. Rather than trying to fix what is there I have removed the offending areas and will rework the composition. And here is one of the things I love about pastel and the surface that I use: I took the painting outside and laid it on the picnic table. I then lightly brushed off the pastel from the areas I want to redo and followed that with an erasing of some of the areas down to the original paper surface. This, of course, creates a lot of dust but being outside on a windy March morning takes care of it. Hopefully, I will have a new and improved version of this painting to show you in a few days.
The original painting showing an uncomfortable composition with unhappy trees.
After erasing and brushing and blowing. Out of doors, of course.
I have left alone those elements of the painting I consider to be “good”. Now is when my imagination and knowledge of the local landscape come into play since I will not be using a reference photo any longer. Stay tuned…