Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Working Toward a Studio Painting

Rain Storm Study, 18x9, pastel

I can you hear saying, "But this is supposed to be a blog about plein air painting!"  And you're right.  But here's the connection:  I'm in the process of creating a studio painting for a plein air event, using plein air sketches and photographs.

As part of the Grand Canyon 2012 "Celebration of Art," I need to create a studio piece that will be hung in the exhibit alongside the plein air work created during the week.  Faithful readers of my blog know that I had some pretty dramatic weather this past year - hail, lightning, torrential downpours.  This made for some really great sketching and photography.  And as I was mulling over the studio piece, it occurred to me to do something other than the usual "sunlit rocks at dawn/dusk" painting.  Sure, there's nothing like the near-incandescent glow of the Canyon at the "golden hour" - but I like something a little moodier.

Although I plan on doing an oil painting that's 24x12, a tall vertical, I felt it'd be better to solve composition and color problems early on in a smaller format.  I chose an 18x9 format, which has the same proportions.  I also decided to do it in pastel.  Pastel is better because I have a harder time making mud with pastel, and thus the color choices will be clearer to me when I refer back to the study.

At the top of this post is the 18x9 study.  I'll let this sit for awhile on my "viewing mantle" before moving on to the oil version.

Oh, and the studio sale continues!  Only 12 days left till Christmas.


daniela.. said...

Rain Storm in pastel is a very interesting semi abstract. Just the sort of thing you can look at over and over and it lets your imagination travel freely over what is not there, and a nice feeling that is too.

Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Thank you, Daniela!

Margo said...

What a brilliant idea, it's so dramatically different than the usual Grand Canyon works.