Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Spotlight Challenge

I am a day late getting started this month.  I had to get going and the Spotlight Challenge over at WetCanvas Pastel Talk was a great place to start.  This month's theme was "edges," an important part of a painting, but often over looked. 

When you think about it, landscapes don't have many hard edges.  Trees, grass, water, clouds and clear sky don't have hard edges.  If a tree has hard edges, it will have that 'cut out and pasted on' look.  Just softening those edges will give the painting a more realistic look.  Softer edges can give a more painterly look as well.

This is painted on 5 x 7 Uart 400 grit paper using Terry Ludwig pastels.  It was started with a gouache under painting.

Thanks for looking.

The Gouache Under Painting



  1. Another wonderful tree! You are very good at trees and grasses. It's fun, isn't it, putting pastel over gouache?

  2. Hi, Meredith. Thanks for the kind words. It has been a long battle trying to paint trees. It has just been the last few months that I have had a little success painting anything that resembled a tree. I usually use an under painting of some kind and gouache works great with pastels. It's nice to start with a road map.

  3. I love this one - you've really got the sky holes down now. That tree has such a wonderful shape and presence. Gorgeous version of the Spotlight photo. I've been tempted by that reference too, just haven't had time/energy to paint yet in May.

  4. Thanks, Robert. By looking at trees every day from the kitchen while eating breakfast and lunch, I think I am finally thinking in 3D. The trees aren't looking as flat because I am thinking of front to back and the sky holes are part of that. It is a beautiful reference and you should give it a go if you get the chance. I know you will do a great job on it.