Saturday, December 29, 2007

Snow Cloaks - Guerrilla Painter 9x12 Pastel Box

The last thaw made me hope that we'd leap-frogged winter right into spring. I knew it was a vain hope, though, and confirming it was the 5 inches of snow that fell yesterday. The storm came without a breath of wind, allowing the snow to pile up on branches and boughs in the most beautiful way.

On a walk among our apple trees, I admired the abstract patterns made by white snow clinging to dark branches. I kept thinking what a wonderful pen-and-ink drawing the apple trees would make. But I knew very well that, to truly capture the effect, I would have to work in a larger format and with more meticulousness than I was up for.

Instead, I went out with my NuPastels and a 5x7 piece of Wallis Sanded Paper (pro grade, Belgian Mist tone.) These days, I'm trying the 9x12 Guerrilla Painter Box in its pastel configuration. Usually, I take my French easel with a separate bag containing my pastel box. Some artists put their pastels in the French easel, but because of the way mine seems to lose things from its drawer, I've never quite trusted it with fragile pastels. The Guerrilla Painter Box, on the other hand, holds four, foam-lined pastel trays in its compartment. With two palette extension kits installed (one on the left, one on the right), I can have all four trays open and in use at once.

Also, since I like to have a separate container for my 'working palette' of pastels, I can borrow the covered palette tray from my 6x8 ThumBox, which sits right on top of the trays. When I'm done painting outdoors, I just put the lid on the palette tray and stuff it in my backpack. This allows me to keep my 'working palette' available if I choose to do more work on the painting back in the studio.

When I started looking for a spot to set up in, something other than the apple trees caught my eye. The firs were draped with yards of soft, luxurious white velvet, if there is such a thing. I ended up painting the firs instead. I guess I'll save the apple trees for another time.

'Snow Cloaks'
5x7, pastel

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