Pastel Painting: Stairway to Thunder Hole


Inspired by a hike along the Ocean Path Trail at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor in Maine, this 21x27 pastel painting evokes a bit of landscape mystery and color impressionism to capture the vibrant features of this coastal gem.


The reference photo taken on this late December day was rather washed out as many photographs are when capturing a shaded area (the pines forest) while the sky was bright and hazy.


Studying other reference photos taken in the past provided further reference points to complete the painting. As a bit of history on this painting, I started the Stairway to Thunder Hole with a watercolor wash as seen below, adding some deep blue and green pastel to capture the darkest values.


The following photos show the progression of the paintings from initial watercolor through subsequent stages. On top of the watercolor underpainting, I added a pastel underpainting comprised of pastel washed with isopropyl alcohol.



As I work my pastel paintings, I tend to drift away from the reference photo, letting my imagination help the painting evolve. This is where painting becomes fun! It's the process of creating a work of art that is truly enjoyable.

Below is the framed version of the painting. The metal frame is 36x24 with mat and non-glare conservation glass.


#ocean #AtlanticOcean #paths #AcadiaNationalPark