Early mornings on humid summer days bring out an ethereal veil of the landscape, with a hazy look that almost blurs the nearby foliage and turns the distant tree line to a bluish cast. Here's the reference photo: The photo does not capture the haziness that was present that morning. And although the sky is clear, on an earlier trip (without camera) there was a dramatic cloud structure expanding up from the horizon. So time to use my "artist's license" and make some changes.
On a hike through a nearby nature preserve last Tuesday, I followed a woodland trail and came across newly-sprouted gatherings of "Great White Trillium." This species of Trillium huddled in shady areas near the base of trees in this wooded area of Pittsfield Township, just south of Ann Arbor, MI. When I began to embark on the trail to the woods with my studio assistant Cosmo, a woman appeared and commented on how marvelous the Trillium were. I could not identify with a part
So often have I strolled through the local parks (often jogging with my dog Cosmo) and marveled at how the early morning sunlight would glow through a mass of leaves in the dense woods. I have tried to photograph this effect, however most of the photos are typically too dark for the leaves or too bright and washed out where the peeks of sky can be seen. So here's my pastel painting rendition of such a scene, entitled "Through the Trees." There is not much in the way of detail
Woolley Park Stroll was started en plein air with my studio assistant Cosmo. Completed today, I decided to enhance some of the predominant colors of this landscape, located in Woolley Park on Textile Road in Saline, MI. Soft pastel on Uart (Grade 400) sanded paper. Here is the reference photo, a much blander view of this lovely early-morning landscape. Check out our Etsy storefront for available paintings. #WooleyPark #Saline #Uart #foliage
While working on another large 21x27 pastel painting, I thought I would break up my schedule with a small study. At the same time, I wanted the painting to be simple. A composition based on a series of diagonal lines, comprising mountains, fields, tree lines and grassy areas. Cade's Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains provides the backdrop of this 5x7-size pastel painting: What particularly impresses me about this vista (and many in that area in early April) is the bold color
One of the joys of painting landscapes in pastels is the ability to quickly add dashes and spots of different color to express density and light impacts within the same value. Here's an example of a work-in-progress painting from a sunny autumn day at Marsh View Meadow Park in Pittsfield Township. First, I decided to let color rule in this painting, using just about all of the colors in my palette (except black and white). focusing in on details, here are some examples of ap
The latest version of my plein air painting at the Pittsfield Preserve. I guess it is 50% "plein air" as I am completing the pastel in my studio. This vista can be found off Marton Road in Pittsfield township, a modest hike from the parking area. Distant tree lines can be effectively conveyed with a light-to-medium value ochre, brown and a little bit of orange. A tortillion comes in handy to spread the pastel sharply upward to capture the hair-like treetops. More to come.
This is a scene from the town of Ravello on Italy's Amalfi Coast. Ravello towers above the Mediterranean, an arduous uphill hike from Amalfi on the coast. I've been fascinated by the red orange terracotta rooftops and the ancient stucco facades of the homes and buildings on the Amalfi Coast (and almost everywhere in Italy). I particularly like the bold greens and yellows of the lush vegetation. I decided to help the colors in this landscape "pop" by juxtaposing complementa
Note the depth in value in the foreground grasses. Today, as can be seen at the lower right of the painting, I have added highlights including higher-value grasses and flowers. The flowers were added using a high value blue and a mid-value blue, the latter more appropriate for the deeper value areas of the grasses. #foliage #barn #fog