Mixed Media

I have been working in acrylics this past year and one of my favorite things about acrylic paint is how well it works in mixed media.  This image is a detail of a piece is on my easel right now.  It is acrylic on paper.  I have carved into the wet acrylics with soft pastel and pastel pencil.  I love the incorporation of line in painting, and the layering of media creates diverse textures.  Because acrylic dries much quicker and more stable than oil, it bonds well to other dry media.  I had forgotten how much fun this was- and how much I like the results.  I think there will be more of this in my upcoming work!

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.

Head in the Clouds

Lately I have been painting and drawing clouds.  I thought it would offer a different perspective and fun change.  However, it has proven to be more challenging in oil paint using my knife.  The hard, rough, and aggressive surface created with the painting knife contrasts with the assumed feeling of soft fluffy clouds.  I am going to try to work with this conflict and see what I can make of it.  I also suspect I will be pulling out the brushes soon.  The pastels, on the other hand, are quite easy.  As seen in this recent pastel drawing, the pastels blend and soften easily into representational forms.  Is direct representation my intent?  I would still argue that it is not – though I enjoy making the more representational pastels before taking liberties in the oil painting.  This also give me a clearer sense of what I am doing when I manipulate, simplify, or translate in oil.

Warm Sunset

I know I seem to be painting a lot of sunrises and sunsets lately, I just really enjoy the sharp colors found in those few minutes each day!


8″ x 12″

pastel on paper


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