I am going to admit, recently I do not draw as much as I should.  My paintings focus on color and texture, something that drawing doesn’t give me much room to explore.  Yet the value in changing media occasionally is priceless.  I teach drawing regularly and teaching gives me an opportunity to revisit drawing.  Drawing often focuses on value, line, or mark.  This is a charcoal drawing I did as a demo for a recent class.  I had fun using the weight and direction of the mark to describe different materials and depths.  It is important to remember that art making is about the journey, not the destination.  The lessons learned from any and every drawing will ultimately effect the next artwork.

Pastel Landscape Process

Inspired to do a larger pastel piece, I worked on a 22″ x 24″ sheet of red Canson paper to create this drawing.  I took photographs along the way to illustrate the process.  First I began with a simple value focused watercolor underpainting.  It’s important to not overwork this step and stress the paper.  In landscape, I almost always start with sky.  Once the sky is established it is easy to build in front of it.  I may have to tweak colors in the sky later for cohesiveness, but I shouldn’t have to do much.  The most difficult part of this piece was the large expanse of grassland.  It was hard to be consistant without it being too boring so I tried to vary of the colors and marks.  However in doing so I walked the line of making it too “chunky” and imaginary.  After  a few days work on this piece I am happy with the end result, the balance of warms and cools, of ground and sky.

Waiting for varnish to dry…

I do not love framing, and now I know I do not love varnishing either. I have spent the last few days waiting for varnish to dry and have started planning my next painting. This is a drawing I did in my studio today during the down time. It is not to the scale yet of the next canvas, but none the less it is the beginning of a thought process. I will probably draw this composition out one or two more times before beginning to paint. The canvas I am preparing for this painting is 20″ x 30″.