Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Scottish Burn

"A Scottish Burn" 12x16 Pastel - Available

We've been having a good deal of snow here in northern New Mexico.  It seems like we get one warm, sunny day, and then we get another snowstorm blowing through.  I'll gladly paint snow, but not when it's snowing!  So, I've been spending some time in the studio working on painting projects.  It's fun to poke through old plein air sketches to see what strikes one's fancy.  This week, I'm thinking of Scotland.  As you may recall, I've made two trips to Scotland, so I have quite a bit of material to review.

I decided I wanted to paint a scene of a burn.  We don't call it a "burn" here in America, but rather a "stream" or "creek."  I also wanted to play some more with my set of Blue Earth pastels.  With that in mind, I set up some reference photos on my tablet, pulled out some color studies, and got to work.  "A Scottish Burn" is the result.  Although I started with harder Cretacolor pastels for the block in, I quickly moved to the softer Blue Earth pastels.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, I like Blue Earth pastels because of the logical color and value arrangement, which is very similar to how I arrange my palette.  (You can read all about that here.)   I painted it on a sheet of burgundy Art Spectrum Colourfix, a brand I prefer because of its coarser texture, which gives a more "painterly" look to the finished piece.

One guiding thought I had as I worked was to use as many greens as I could, but to incorporate touches of red and orange here and there to keep the green from being overwhelming.  I found that, even in Scotland, where you see so much green, there is still an undertone of red and orange in the landscape.  Also, I chose the burgundy paper for the same reason.

I've included some details photos as well as two shots of the studio (thank you, Trina!) to show you how I have it set up.   By the way, the painting is available for sale.  Click here for details.

Blue Earth pastels used for the painting.  I like taking a photo
of this box at the end because of the little "jumble" I create
as I work.

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