Category Archives: pastel painting

Arches National Park – Landscape Arch

Friday I got to art class early and started this one before my students arrived. I got the basics in and then finished it the next day at home. It took me right back to Arches National Park and I was there again amongst the blue green sage brush which is such a perfect foil for the riot of red, orange and ochres of the rocks and soil.

 

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I fell in love with this plant and one of the most beautiful views from the many places we stayed was the sage brush plain outside our lovely cottage in Kanab. I would just stand and gaze across the blue green brush as the evening descended feeling joyful and serene. A nice state to end the day in. ( and Utah was pretty nice as well!)

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Of course this is exactly what Arches National Park is so rightly famous for  and I was mesmerised by the thin slivers of rock forming these arches . So graceful yet they were formed by years of abrasion and erosion. I wish I had been shaped so gracefully by my own years .

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Every mile of desert landscape we travelled through  was colourful, varied and wonderful. I was never bored by the passing landscape and so grateful for the experience and the opportunity to take some hikes that got me up close and personal with some of the landscape. I think you need to get out into nature and experience it in order to get real emotion into your paintings.

Landscape Arch - Desert Colours
Landscape Arch – Desert Colours

I hope that this painting somehow conveys to you those feelings I had as I wandered along the desert trails. The real joy I felt at the exuberance of colour, a sense of wonder that the solidity of those rocks could be changed and sculpted by wind and rain into such delicate structures,  a feeling of connectedness to the landscape and a profound thankfulness that places like these have been protected and preserved for generations to enjoy.

If you want to see a real time video of me painting this it  will be coming to my Patreon page as a full length video demo in September and will make it’s way to my You Tube channel in October.

The dreaded demo

I had the first lesson of this terms pastel class today. I know I need to demonstrate techniques for my class and I’m happy to do it but it does put the pressure on to make a “good” painting! When it all goes wrong I can hear them thinking ” I’m paying her to teach me!!!!”

So it was a bit of a mistake to try a new approach today that I knew would take too long to finish. I planned to only do a small area well and leave the rest of the subject area pretty empty.

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Plans never go to plan! I started out with the idea of concentrating on the barn and rendering that to a finished stage but then my students had the audacity to follow through on my suggestion that they interrupt at any time and ask questions… I found myself moving into the trees and the sky in response and the end result looked like the unfinished scribblings of a two-year old let loose with the crayon packet! I meant to take a photo but somehow forgot so you’ll just have to imagine it but you can use the following to gauge it’s true horror. To be fait it was a lot more resolved than this but still very, very uninspiring which could be why my sub conscious forgot to take that photo.

Not content with one mess I grabbed another sheet of paper and scribbled a bit more .

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I could have done better with more time but I’m always conscious that the main reason they’re in the room is so they can paint and I like to keep a strict 30 minutes for my into waffle and demo so I packed up the waffle iron and got them painting …and they did some great work which I like to think was partly in response to the earlier 30 minutes of demo and discussion. ( and which I hope they think was in some way a result of my teaching points or it coud be a very empty class room next week!)

When I got home I needed to finish that barn! An hour later I put the finishing touches and then tackled the scribbled sheet with an imaginary reflection scene. It felt good to relax with no video running, no need to talk about what I was doing ( I may have babbled on a bit to myself , but myself is very laid back when listening to myself, so no pressure there) and no one to see the end result as it unfolded. It could all go in the bin if I hated it.

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Demonstrating to a live audience is full of pressure, a video is a bit better but if it all goes wrong there’s a lot of wasted time ( and to be honest I get a bit tired of talking while I paint – although the IT Geek would tell you I never get tired of talking!) and doing commissions is fraught with possible problems to be resolved. Painting just for me happens a lot less than it used to and I really, REALLY, enjoyed it.

I plan to do more!

All packed and ready to paint!

I’ve never had the luxury of taking a separate roll on just for my art supplies and it’s amazing!!!! Here’s what I managed to fit in….

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… and there’s still a little room left to bring home my new set of water miscible oil paints and Guerrilla pochade box.

Watch out for some holiday art in the next few weeks.

Pre holiday planning – Patreon posts.

We’re off to the US and Canada next Thursday for six glorious weeks of national parks , painting and walking and I’m knee deep in pre holiday planning. It’s not my usual pre holiday planning though. Having just started up my Patreon page  last month I’m really keen to make sure that my wonderful patrons get their monies worth while I’m away so my evenings are spent on the couch with my laptop editing videos, writing up Skill Builder worksheets and scheduling a whole raft of posts for the next 6 weeks.

Usually I’ve packed my bag by now but I haven’t even sorted out what art supplies I’m taking! There are a few piles starting to develop around the house and in the studio so maybe it’s time to fish the suitcase out from under the bed and start piling the piles in!

Just a little overview of what I have scheduled to post this month.

May is  Colour Mixing Month!

May will focus on colour mixing and I’ll be talking about colour, demonstrating techniques and  giving you lots of ideas to try out!

1st Monday – reference images for the demos later in the month + the Skill Builder and Art Inspiration copyright free reference photos.

2nd Monday- Pastel lesson– this will be a mountain scene with a focus on planning, colour mixing and creating texture.

Mountain landscape in pastel
Mountain landscape in pastel

3rd Monday- Skill Builder worksheet – I’ll be simplifying the idea of using a colour scheme and talking through the pros and cons. There’s a couple of easy but effective exercises with this Skill Builder.

4th Monday – The Acrylic demo and lesson which is an evening scene of an old jetty and some rocks. This will be in 2 parts over 2 days and will build on April’s acrylic lesson. We’ll be exploring graded washes, painting clouds and adding sunset colours to our clouds .

The Evening Jetty Acrylic painting
The Evening Jetty Acrylic painting

Last Friday – Art Inspiration rewards– I’ll be sending out the hi res images of this months demo paintings for my patrons personal use.

Hints and Tips– there’s a series of hints and tips related to colour mixing sprinkled throughout the month. Mixing neutrals,making greens, avoiding mud and how to get interesting darks will all feature. Also a feature on 5 way thumbnails can really help your art.

Neutrals mixed from Mungyo student pastels
Neutrals mixed from Mungyo student pastels

A few surprise posts– I hope to post some snippets from my US Canada holiday as my internet connection allows.

Art Challenge– yes there will be another art challenge or two during the month!

 

Drop by and see how the month unfolds…….

 

Taking a risk.

There’s nothing like putting yourself out there to make life feel a little risky. I’ve just set myself up on Patreon and made a little intro video to launch my new venture to my public – and I feel a bit wobbly.

What if noone is interested? How will that make me feel? Probably a bit deflated and despondent , maybe it will curtail my enthusiasm for putting so much time and effort into my You Tube channel. The truth is I needed to do it because I would like to improve my video recording and editing but to do that I need better equipment and some up skilling and to do that I need some income which I don’t get from You Tube. So If I don’t put myself out there my videos won’t improve – and if none of my 4360 You Tube subscribers are interested then I guess it means they’re happy with my current production values!

What have I got to lose? Only a little self confidence and a bit of an ego bruising.

So here goes…..

Taking a break from reality.

As with most things there are pros and cons to taking on painting commissions. Mostly I enjoy the challenge of painting to achieve an agreed result and it’s certainly helped me improve my realism as I’ve taken on new subjects  such as aviation art.  The downside is not having enough time to explore and loosen up with a bit of experimentation.  So now the end of year rush is over I’ve decided to take a break from reality and try a few different approaches and see where they take me.

On my first play date with loosening up I splashed around with acrylic inks on watercolour paper and then added in soft pastels for texture.

Mixed media painting of rocks.
Painted rocks. Acrylic ink and pastel on watercolour paper.

 

This was a lot of fun and you can see me going for it here:

And now I’m adding the pastels:

 

Of course I haven’t left realism too far behind… there’s clearly sea, sky, headland and rocks. What I have done is  forget about the actual colours of the rocks and let loose with the inks adding lots of juicy, vibrant colours. Then I used my soft pastels to reshape some areas , add in a bit of texture and try and bring the whole together into a cohesive painting.

It was energising to paint for the love of painting, to not worry about getting an exact rendition of a scene, to only please myself. At first the jury was out on whether it was a success as a painting but the verdict came in a few days later and I added it to my new larger painting outlet on BlueThumb Art.

Today’s art project

Day 8 at the exhibition was a busy day. I made another small handmade watercolour book, did a little pastel painting and tried out a daisy design on a white lamp shade. & more days to go so a few more art projects to go!

Art shade and handmade art book.
Art shade and handmade acrylic sketch book.

 

Bay of Fires pastel painting.
Small pastel painting. Bay of Fires. Tasmania.

Sidespace Gallery exhibition

The paintings are all up, the opening night went well and the red dots are starting to appear. I’m enjoying meeting people and chatting about the paintings, my travels and beautiful Tasmania. There’s a bit of quiet time so I’m trying to do a painting of some sort each day. I’ve done a few little art books, a couple of pastels and started a small canvas today. Have to admit it’s pretty tiring sitting 2 weeks straight every day so maybe I need to stock up on a stash of chocolate…..

Water’s Edge exhibition catalogue.

This is the e-catalogue for my solo exhibition which will be showing at the

Sidespace Gallery

Co presented with the Salamanca Arts Center

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1/77 Salamanca Place, Hobart, Tasmania.

Open daily 10 am to 4pm         19th Sept to 3rd Oct

Opening night Tuesday 19th September 7-8pm

I hope you can make the exhibition but if you can’t make the exhibition and would like more information or to purchase a painting just contact me  at mriwhitton@gmail.com.

I can provide a shipping quote if you need the painting delivered.

I accept credit card payments through Square as well as Paypal payments.

 

32a
No 1:  ” Sunlit Beach Path- Dover”   Pastel on paper     44 x 49cm framed       SOLD

 

6a
No:2  “Squally Day – Bay of Fires”   Framed size 40 x 50 cm        Pastel on sanded paper.     SOLD

 

27a
No 3:   “Lichen Rocks – Bay of Fires”     Acrylic on canvas.      75 x 100 cm           SOLD

 

30a
No 4:  ” Summer Beach Shadows – Adventure Bay”   Pastel  on paper    45 x 45 cm framed    SOLD

 

24a
No 5:  ” Beach Path – Dover ”     Pastel on sanded paper.    Framed size: 40 x 50 cm     $250

 

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No 6:    “Checking the Catch”      Acrylic on panel.     Framed size   47×80   cm        $380

 

10a
“Clear Water”  Acrylic on canvas    40x40cm     SOLD

 

 

16a
No 8:  “Cloud Reflections – Huon River”        20 x 20 cm       SOLD

 

5a
No 9:  ” Cremorne Lagoon”    Acrylic on canvas.  100 x 100 cm    SOLD

 

28a
No 10:  “Morning Light – Mayfield Beach”     Acrylic on canvas          75 x 50 cm          $400
26a
No 11:    ” A Sea Breeze – Sardinia”               Acrylic on canvas.     92 x 61cm             $ $500

 

3. Water dance.
No 12:    ” Dancing Water – Freycinet”        SOLD

 

22a
No 13:  “Shallow Waters – Bruny Island”      40 x 50 cm framed       Pastel on paper   $250

 

21a
No 14:   “Beach Path  – Dover”   Pastel on paper  Framed 40 x 50cm  SOLD

 

20a
No 15:  ” Sparkling Waters – Drip Beach”     Pastel on sanded paper      Framed 40 x 50cm     $250

 

18a
No 16:   “Sea and Sand”   Acrylic on Canvas    45 x45cm   $300
1a (2)
No 17:  Friendly Beaches Vista         Acrylic on canvas    100 x 75cm   SOLD

 

 

 

17a
No 18: ” Evening Light – Spring Beach”  20x20cm    SOLD  
15a
No 19:  “Blue Waters, White Boat – Huon River”   Acrylic on canvas   20x20cm  $100

 

13a
No 20:  ” Emerald Waters – Rocky Cape ”     Acrylic on canvas     25x30cm  $150
38a
“Two Boats”  Acrylic on canvas     60×60 cm     SOLD

 

11a
No 22:   ” Water’s Edge”            Acrylic on canvas               45x45cm     $360

 

9a
No 23:  “View from Pinder’s Peak”      Acrylic on canvas    30x30cm   SOLD

 

8a
No 24:  ” Shining Sea- Bruny Island”    Pastel on paper   framed size 45x45cm   SOLD

 

 

 

2a
No 25:  “The Coastal Track””              Acrylic on canvas    30 x30 cm SOLD

 

4a
No 26:  “Lichen Rock Pool”  Acrylic on canvas    30x60cm  SOLD

 

29a
No 27:      “The Big Rock- Capo Testa, Sardinia”  Acrylic on canvas     60x90cm     SOLD

 

 

23a
No 28:  “Serenity study”  Pastel on paper    Framed size 40x50cm     $250

 

7a. Wetlands colour
No: 29  ” Wetlands Colour”  Pastel  24x42cm framed size  SOLD
35a
“Oystercatcher in Evening Light”   Acrylic on canvas    40×40    $250
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No 31:  ” Yosemite Stream”  Pastel on paper   45 x 45 cm framed size  $200

 

33a
No 32:   “Serenity”      Pastel on pastel.    90 x 61 cm framed      $500
34a
No 33: “Low Tide”   Acrylic on Canvas    50x75cm   SOLD
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No 34: “A Good Day for Fishing – Bay of Fires”    Acrylic on canvas    75×120    $900

 

 

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No 35: “Bicheno Fishing Fleet”  Acrylic on canvas  30x30cm            $200
40a
No 36: “Rock Pools -Bruny Island”  Acrylic on canvas      60x90cm   SOLD
36a
No 37: ” Binalong Bay”  Acrylic on canvas   40x40cm  SOLD
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No38: “East Coast Colours”  Acrylic on canvas   30x30cm   $200
39a
No 39: “Kyaking at dusk – Port Davey”    Acrylic on canvas  30 x 40cm  $ 200
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No 40: ” Pirates Bay”   Pastel             78x85cm framed                             SOLD
14a
N0 41: ” The wave – Bay of Fires”  20x30cm                      $150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Huon River Painting Demo

I love the Huon River in all it’s moods. Here it is on an overcast day , full of atmosphere and quiet beauty. The grasses and bushes on the river bank add another layer of interest and texture against the backdrop of misty mountains and gentle reflections.Here’s the reference photo to go along with my YouTube video .( If you want to paint along feel free to use this photo.)aa

 

Here’s the video.

…and here’s the pastel set I used ( along with a few Conte sticks for sharper details on the boat.)

Unison landscape set