Category Archives: pastel painting

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.

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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     $300

 

 

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
31
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
42
No 34: “A Good Day for Fishing – Bay of Fires”    Acrylic on canvas    75×120    $900

 

 

41
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

Latest painting

Back from holidays and just recovering from the old jet lag which has really hit me this year. Still … I managed to find a few good hours to finish the painting I started 6 weeks ago. It’s always difficult painting an iconic location – the silhouette is so well known that it’s immediately obvious if you get it wrong! So here’s my attempt at the wonderful Cradle Mountain and sunset reflections in Dove Lake, which nestles at it’s foot.

Cradle mountain sunset
Cradle Mountain sunset

Terry Ludwig pastels.

I’ve been coveting a set of Terry Ludwig pastels for a very long time. The trouble is they are quite expensive and you just can’t buy them in Tasmania. So by the time I’ve added postage from the US the “quite expensive” has soared to stratospheric heights of extravagance.

When I retired The Writer kept urging me to spend a little something on myself as a reward for sticking it out so long. I drooled over the full set of Terry Ludwig hand made pastels for some time even going so far as to ADD TO CART to see what the postage was. The message re postage implied I would need to take out a second mortgage to have the 550 set of delicious, buttery, hand rolled pastels delivered to my door. I sighed and deleted from my cart.

Roll forward 3 months and once again I sat up late into the night poring over the various sets on offer. I agonised about the price but I’d just done a couple of commissions and the bank account was looking OK so I decided to choose a small set and treat myself – I don’t think I posted the Easter baskets painting here previously.

Easter Baskets

I really felt I was due a reward after all those people and baskets . The client sent a black and white photo and asked me to paint it in an Easter pastels colour scheme. I did a lot of googling to work out just what might have gone into Russian Easter baskets and can now give you a full run down from lamb shaped butter sculptures to the plaited Easter breads with baked eggs embedded in the plaits.

Anyway , suffice it to say a feeling of entitlement prevailed. I debated the relative merits of the general landscape set versus the basic values set and then settled on the violet collection before succumbing to the gentle call of the Richard McKinley landscape set.

21937-5609-2ww-mI love bright colours and have a lot of them so this set wasn’t my first or natural choice but I kept coming back to it because this set is full of all those muted and soft colours of nature that can be hard to find. It’s going to fill a few gaps in my collection from the grey greens right through to the light hues of soft pinks and creamy yellows. I just love Richard McKinleys art and think I can learn a lot by using his chosen colours to add a little restraint to my vibrant palette. Here’s my first painting using just this box.

Desert colours

Already I love these pastels. It’s incredibly hard to find just the right colour for sage brush and here it was – right out of the box!

I’ll keep you posted on my new love affair with 60 square, yet soft and subtle,  pastels.

 

Feedback and questions about your paintings.

If you want to ask for feedback or advice about your own painting, or you have a question about something I haven’t covered in my You Tube videos, or you have a suggestion for a topic you would like me to cover you’re in the right place!

Just leave me a comment with your question and/or a link to your painting and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Happy painting!

Day Trip

On Monday I headed down to Cygnet to drop off some paintings at an exhibition. It was a glorious sunny morning and The Writer was headed in the opposite direction to Port Arthur to take the Tasman Island cruise. I would have joined him but for the need to drop off the paintings and the fact that I’m such a bad sailor there was no way I was ever going to get on that boat! The waters down there can be pretty rough and the boat is a very bouncy ride – all adding up  to a green and nausious experience for me which I preferred to avoid.

So, back to the Cygnet trip which was by road and much less bilious all round!

I packed the car with my painting kit, trusty Red Velvet (my camera) the paintings to be delivered and some lunch. This took a bit of time. Painting kit makes it sound like a small box you might fit your first aid items in-try imagining a 1940’s film star heading off on the Orient Express for a 6 week grand tour of Europe and you might get a glimpse of the magnitude of the packing job. I had acrylic paints, brushes, canvases, my field box of pastels, rags, charcoal, pencils, alcohol ( not the drinking kind- I’m driving!) paper, sketchbook, easel and a kitchen sink just in case I might need to wash up after the painting! Then I decided it wasn’t quite enough so I threw in the tripod in case I wanted to YouTube the painting.

Red Velvet got quite a work out on the way down. As soon as I hit the Huon River I was stopping every few minutes- the reflections were fantastic and the blackberries lining the road were ripe and luscious- so between the snapping there was a fair bit of berry browsing!

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The big bend at Huonville
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The wetlands magic.
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Boat on the Huon river.

 

I often have trouble committing to a painting spot when I head off plein aire. I want the perfect subject , the perfect place for the easel, not too much traffic to disturb me and a bit of shade nearby. So I kept on driving and was very tempted by the reflections here…

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Golden grass reflections. Huon River.

but all the time I was thinking of Drip Beach so I kept heading south past more perfect reflections…

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Reflecting on the Huon River.

…and then I arrived. I love this small beach because it has such interesting shadows from the gum trees behind the beach. I’ve painted these shadows before and I thought I might try a different format this time…

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Drip Beach shadows.
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Sparkle on the water.
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Green water, red rocks.

 

I parked the car in the shade, hauled out the easel and set up. It was a lovely spot and I enjoyed being out in nature painting for a change. There were a few locals out walking their dogs and we exchanged greetings as they trooped on by. They stopped to check my progress on the way back and wanted to know if I was famous- not really- but they wanted my name anyway!

A couple of happy hours passed and here’s the result…

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Shadows on the water. Drip Beach.

I’ve promised myself I’ll get out and about more this year and this was a good start!

 

 

 

Painting snow in pastels.

Setting up.

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Tablet with reference photo

I like to use my Samsung Galaxy tablet to view the reference photo on as I paint because it has great colour and I can zoom in and out for detail if I need to. I just hang it up next to my paper. Then I choose the boxes of pastels I’ll be using and set them out. I’m using my Unison Lights for the snow, a box of greens I’ve made up myself for the trees and some Sennelier Darks for any area that needs a punch of deep, dark colour. The Unison Landscape set is for extras I might need. I chose a purple/violet MiTientes TEX sanded paper and taped it to a foamcore board.

 

set
My boxes of pastels all set out.

Blocking in.

Next I sketch in the main composition lines with a white charcoal pencil and block in the main shapes with my harder pastels then wash them down with a watercolour brush dipped in alcohol.

 

Add in other basic shapes.

Now I start working from background to middle to fore ground.

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Blocking in middle trees and warming foreground trees.
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Adding some detail to the middle trees.
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Laying in the bright snow
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Snow on foreground trees.

 

Finishing off with a snowfall.

I choose a few very light blues and a white. Holding the pastel above the painting which I’ve now laid flat I scrape lightly with the knife and a little shower of pastel dust falls onto the painting. I start with lighter blues and end with some bigger flakes of white for the closest snowflakes.

Now I take a piece of greaseproof paper and place on top of the painting. Pressing down gently I move my hand in a circular motion to press the pastel flakes into the paper.

 

Finished painting and reference.

I was concentrating on the snow and didn’t realise that I sloped the paddock the opposite direction until I looked at it later. Doesn’t really matter as this was just a demo for my YouTube channel.

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Why not use the reference photo and have a go at a snowy winter scene. It’s lot’s of fun. Send me a link to your painting.