Thursday, December 15, 2011

Final Pastel Study: Grand Canyon

Study:  "There Will Come Soft Rains", 18x9, pastel

This is the final version of the pastel study for my Grand Canyon oil painting.

Adjustments were few, but the cool blues, violets and red-violets in the distance were too saturated, so I greyed them down.  One can use a complement, of course, but sometimes the result is somewhat carnival-like, so I chose to use mostly greys to dull the color.  Also, to soften the viewer's fall from foreground cliff to the distant ones, I added a stepping stone - another cliff .  This intermediate cliff also gave me the chance to work a slightly cooler version of the foreground colors elsewhere into the painting; without it, those extremely warm colors would have been too isolated and given a disjointed feeling to the color harmony.  Below are a couple of detail shots.   (If you want to see a much larger version of any of these, right-click and select "open link in new tab".  Blogger's "lightbox" image viewer no longer lets you see the biggest image possible.)

By the way, I just saw a movie that should interest plein air painters, "Vincent and Theo."  Originally a mini-series shot in 1990 by Robert Altman for the BBC, it was re-edited for the big screen.  As much as I enjoyed it, one thing bugged me; every time a painter (actor) was shown painting, he held the palette incorrectly.   The palette wasn't supported by the forearm, but held out as if offering someone a plate of hors d'oeurves.  You can't hold a palette for several hours this way, not unless you pump iron regularly.  The movie is available from NetFlix (in the US) for instant viewing.


Loretta said...

Hi Michael, I love this painting. It's so peaceful. Makes me want to try pastels....and I'm fighting the more medium to find room for. So I'll stick to Acrylics, watercolors, oils and Leather. I enjoy pastels done by others though.

daniela.. said...

Both versions of this pastel painting are interesting - the first is exciting as it is spontaneous and alla prima, the second is very peaceful and subdued... maybe you have an additional career as a semi abstract painter, Michael.