I love to paint skies – storm skies, evening skies, wispy cloud skies….they say a lot and and can mean different things to different people.
When I was a kid, I liked to go out and lay down in the grass on a windy day and watch the clouds, ever changing, making cool formations as they moved with the currents of the air. Fortunately Where I lived you weren’t in danger or being run over or something while you were laying there in the grass day dreaming….guess that’s one of the perks to being a kid on some thousands of acres in the middle of Montana! Clouds are great. On my last trip to Montana, the skies were fabulous and I took a lot of reference photos of great skies. The skies in the three paintings today were two evening skies near Walla Walla. One evening as the sun was setting, there was this beautiful golden-pinkish glow. The large horizontal images above with the golden fields are pretty representational of that; however there is more of a pink tint to the actual paintings than is represented in the photo.
Regarding technique…I used the pastel boards from Art Spectrum for the fields with water and the hillside fields with trees in central part of painting. These are great to work with, have good tooth. I used the “elephant” colour boards….a nice purplish gray color. The other painting was done on a sanded paper from La Carte. I have not used this paper before, but it is very nice and it comes in a lot of great colors. I used an “earth” colored paper. I love Wallis, but this is great paper as well.
I used a variety of pastels, but did hone in on several of the Diane Townsend earthy colors as well as Unison and some Schmincke. I love the Terrage’ sticks Diane Townsend has. They are big and gritty and are great to add that sparkle as last minute touch to a painting…and…there are some good bold colors that I like!
Looking forward to a trip early to the farmer’s market in the morning, early – to beat the heat. Our weather has reached the 100 degree range now, so being outside midday and working in the heat is not the most pleasant, so it’s better to paint early and late in the day. But, that’s summer and I do enjoy it.
I ordered some plein air frames for some paintings. Awaiting their arrival and am anxious to see how the pastels look in them. These are about 4 inch frames that have a deep enough rabbet to accommodate a spacer between the pastel and the glass. With this system, you don’t mat the painting. So the finished product has the look of an oil painting. It’s is a very classy look, so we will see how this goes. Even though the framing material is a little more expensive, there is not the expense of mat and because there is no mat the overall glass size is less, so that saves something. I will post some images of framed work once I get them completed.
So in the meantime…happy painting and stay cool in the heat of the summer!!