Friday, February 09, 2007

Mount Remarkable WIP four

Still working on the branches of the large trees with a lot of concentration working out where the lights and darks with various colours fall. The bark is smooth after shedding its outer rough layer at an earlier time. The trunks and branches often have complex patterns of different colours, sometimes iridescent though I do avoid painting them all as I am not into precise realism; rather showing off the character of the trees with shape, colour and values.

Getting it right
I don’t want it to happen as I want to sell my painting

It must be remembered that some of the foliage does come over the “front” of the branches and I look for these areas to break up the lengths of timber or the eye will soon be taken out of the painting, which of cause I don’t want it to happen as I want to sell my painting, not the neighbouring painting that maybe hanging on the wall next to mine.

Standing back and looking at the large right eucalyptus red gum tree I felt the trunk needed to be widened slightly to strengthen it up to hold the weight of the canopy. Frequently there are hidden widths at the back of trees as these beauties are not necessary rounded because they are many hundreds of years old, leaving the impression that the trunk is too narrow from the viewing side.

So often is the case in the area of the Southern Flinders the Mistletoe allows me to play with eye-catching colours in the foliage area. I do rely on the texture of the Art Spectrum Colourfix paper to pick off the colour from the ends of the pastel stick so that it looks as if there is minuscule size leaves at the same time blending and greying off some of the hues that are jumping out too much. I then use the sharp side of the stick to add a few stronger dashes to bring leaves to the front of the group.

How I wish!
Bet I can’t replicate that colour again

There is a cool iridescent colour in the base of the trunk and for the life of me I could not get the hue right until I found in my pastel box a greyed off blue that happened to be left over powder from the trough at the base of a previous painting, which was collected and sprayed with water and molded into a crude stick and allowed to dry. Bet I can’t replicate that colour again! Time to give the tree a rest; I will revisit this area again to pull the entire painting together once I have caught the remaining areas up.

Moving onto the foreground I stain the paper the complimentary colour of the grasses that will eventually be laid down. The purples are also the “mother colour” that I have used throughout the painting, which will give a relationship tonally to the painting as a whole. The pastel is rubbed into the paper using my fingers leaving a very light coverage of pastel with some areas of the elephant coloured Colourfix paper showing through. This will leave most of the tooth of the pastel paper for further layers to be added to my hearts content.

At this point I will take a photo and post to my blog so that you can see for yourself because my concentration level has just gone out the window!

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2 comments: said...

Hi Susan .. thank you for your visit. Am just having a flit around some of my friends ... I love the way you do your pastels and I love reading about how you do it.

When I was pastelling I found that once I had tried Colorfix I couldn't get on with anything else! Its a bit heavy on soft pastels but heaven to work on, isn't it?

Your Flinders paintings make me feel as though I were there ... you get such a good atmosphere to them.

Susan Borgas said...

G'day Lesly, thanks for stopping by.

I love Colorfix, which is just as well as us Aussies don't have a lot of choices of sanded paper in Australia. I know what you mean with the soft pastels although tend to save them for the last layer. Not so much tooth to deal with then. :)

Glad you are enjoying my Flinders work. The next painting will be from further up north in the Flinders; something different from from the usual large trees.