Sunday, 26 July 2009

Last light

For the last two days there have been wonderful clouds in the sky heralding a change in weather and some much needed rain. I started the clouds for this piece from life, but the sun was blinding even on dark paper and of course the clouds moved constantly across the sky. This is common of course in plein air work and I usually get the outlines and values in place then work on it on site or back at the studio.

I took a few shots of the clouds for reference and started playing with them in the studio using pastels on a lovely half sheet of Canal paper by St-Armand in Blue Denin. As I manipulated the clouds, the sea and distant headland just arrived unbidden. What started out as reality morphed into a mix of reality, memory and wishful thinking.

I don't use pastels often, but enjoy the freedom they give when done loose and large. There seem to be as many techniques of laying down colour with pastel as there are people who use them. I feel still very much a learner when using them, as they aren't as familiar to me through use as some other mediums.

The heavy clouds seemed to fit the scene of last light before night, covering the land and ocean and waiting for the rainstorm to arrive.


vivien said...

oh I love the moodiness of these - you've caught the atmosphere and light beautifully

I love pastel to use but HATE the framing side!

Patty said...

So very lovely Jeanette! I have some of that Canal paper in my stash, what do you think of it? ---I haven't used it yet.

Jeanette said...

I'm a lover of light at either end of the day Vivien. Just when you strain to see detail that is fast disappearing.

I haven't used pastels a lot and am not really sure how to store it yet so it still sits on the easel.

Thank you Patty. The Canal paper is lovely and soft, yet rugged enough to hold pastel or charcoal very well. You lose a little fibre if you blend too much, but overall I quite like it. I have another colour - a burgundy in it too that I'll have to try.

muddy red shoes said...

I like this, beautifully atmospheric.

Jeanette said...

and it just sold...I like it when that happens

Lindsay said...

That's great! Congrats.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Why am I not surprised? :)

You seem to have an affinity for clouds

Gesa said...

yes - this is a fantastic piece. I like the almost monochrome palette with the lightest clouds very much... and I'm not suprised either ;)

Anonymous said...

Like vivien moody, very beautiful! I am such a clutz with pastels and can only watch in awe what artists do with them!